GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – With the retirement of Police Chief Andrew Smith – Green Bay’s Police and Fire Commission is in charge of hiring his replacement. We spoke with current and former members of the commission to learn more about that process.
With Chief Andrew Smith officially retired and interim Chief Jim Runge in place, the Police and Fire Commission starts the heavy lifting – considering the applications received from those interested in the police chief job.
“We’ll review every candidate, go through and assess whether they meet the minimum qualifications, those that do we’ll take a further look,” said Commission Chair Rod Goldhahn.
That review of applications is scheduled to begin Thursday, conducted by a civilian board of five individuals appointed to the commission by the mayor and approved by the Common Council.
But when it comes to hiring decisions for officers of firefighters – the commission has final say.
“The commission is independent by state statute and what we decide is what the decision is,” said former commission member Barbara Dorff.
For a year and a half Barbara Dorff served on the commission that ultimately hired former Police Chief Andrew Smith. And she says the current panel understands the responsibility they now face.
“Yes, there is a lot of pressure. You want to make sure you’re making a good decision for the City of Green Bay. I would say it’s a huge responsibility,” said Dorff.
Dorff says the current panel is diverse – both in gender and ethnicity – and will likely look for candidates that will make everyone feel important and welcome and hold his or her officers to a higher standard.
“The qualities that I would see important for the next chief are similar qualities that we had in our Chief Smith,” said Dorff.
And the process gets underway with the review of applications.
“We’ll determine a group to do likely phone or Zoom interviews with, and from that whittle it down to a smaller group that we would actually bring in for face-to-face interviews,” Goldhahn said.
“I think it is a very good commission that represents the community of Green Bay,” said Dorff.
Goldhahn has said he anticipates a new chief to be hired by early fall.