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Five Police Chief candidates begin final interviews

Posted: Thu, Aug 1, 2019 6:36 PM

The five finalists for Decorah Police Chief begin formal interviews Saturday. The interviews are the final process in hiring a replacement for former Decorah Police Chief Bill Nixon, who retired in July.

The five finalists are:

--Decorah Police Captain Scott Herrmann, who has 25 years in law enforcement, nine as Captain

--Knoxville Police Chief Eric How, who has 10 years in law enforcement, two years military experience

--Itasca, Illinois Deputy Chief Barry Kauther, who has 29 years in law enforcement, five as Deputy Chief

--Lee's Summit, Missouri Floyd County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Mrachek, who has 28 years in law enforcement, 22 with the FBI and six years with the Floyd County Sheriff's Office

--Decorah Police Assistant Chief David Smutzler, who has 28 years in law enforcement, nine as Assistant Chief

The candidates traveling from out of town arrived in Decorah Thursday. Testing and physical agility protocol will be conducted Friday. A community welcome reception will be held from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. in the Hotel Winneshiek lobby.

The formal interviews will be conducted Saturday morning at 8:00 A.M. in the Law Enforcement Center at Decorah City Hall. Candidates will be interviewed by four department panels, consisting of City Council members, City department heads, law enforcement professionals, and members of the Decorah Civil Service Commission. These interviews will be closed to the public per Iowa Code section 21.5(1)i.

Upon completion of the formal interviews and pending testing results, the Civil Service Commission is expected to meet and certify the list of candidates eligible for the position of Police Chief. Once the list is certified, Mayor Borowski will recommend a candidate to the City Council. Her recommendation will then go before the Decorah City Council for vote at a date to be determined.