On Tuesday, the La Crosse Police and Fire Commission announced the three finalists for the open Chief of Police position.
Thursday, the Commission held a meeting discussing the candidates and preparing interview questions.
The finalists, Shawn Kudron, Jason Melby, and Daniel Kloss, all have something in common. They’re all Captains of Police for the city of La Crosse.
Despite the final applicants all being local, the initial search was nationwide.
“We’ve known all along that we have excellent candidates inside and I know there was some discussion, ‘well why are you going outside in your search?'” said Doug Happel, a La Crosse Police and Fire Commission member. “You go wherever you can, to get the best possible person for any job and this is one of the most important jobs in the community.”
A fourth finalist withdrew his application Tuesday afternoon. However, the Commission says that when they hired former Chief Tischer, they had narrowed it down to just three as well.
With all three finalists coming from within the La Crosse Police Department, the Commission says it speaks highly of the program here and the talent it is producing.
“It’s worked out that the three people who are being brought back are all internal and it speaks very well to the high level of professionalism that our department has,” Happel said. “The La Crosse Department is known throughout the state as one of the best in the state and is being validated by the three young men who are coming in for interviews.”
Even though the new Chief will be coming from within, Happel still believes there will be a learning curve to the promotion.
He also knows that having prior knowledge of the finalists can help the interview process.
“Even if you know them, they wouldn’t be in here if they didn’t have a very strong record and so forth,” Happel said. “But, it’s an advantage to know people, so that doesn’t hurt.”
All three candidates will be interviewed on Sept. 24 and the Commission will look to make their decision sometime in October.