Commission certifies police officer position scores

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — The Civil Service Commission certified the scores of the candidates for the open Sidney police officer position on Thursday, afternoon, Jan. 13.

The scores of four candidates were certified for the position which will become open due to a retirement within the department.

Kelly Holthaus, human resources manager, said next, Police Chief Will Balling will make a recommendation to City Manager Andrew Bowsher on the individual he would like to hire. Once Bowsher approves the recommendation, human resources will present a conditional offer of employment to that individual. After the person accepts the conditional offer, they still must pass post-employment background and physical testing, polygraphs, a drug test and interviews before they can start with the Sidney Police Department.

That individual will then be introduced at a future Sidney City Council meeting.

Police Capt. Bill Shoemaker attended in Chief Will Balling’s absence, who was unable to attend Thursday. Balling said by email later the police department is currently looking to hire several officers in 2022.

“We are looking to fill one to three spots as soon as we can. In 2020 we were unable to fill two open positions due to the effects of COVID on the overall city’s budget. Last year the City Council authorized us to fill one of those open positions this year. We also have the potential to lose several good officers this year due to retirements,” Balling said. “When hiring an officer it is very important that it is a good fit for our department and for the individual that we are hiring. We want the individual to buy into our mission and vision statement and have the core values of professionalism, integrity, courage and compassion. We also want our department to be a good fit for them so that they not only enjoy working here, but can excel.

“The decision on when to hire someone is difficult due to the amount of time that it takes to onboard a new officer. The hiring process can take four to five months to go through the civil service process and identify a candidate. If the best candidate needs to go through the police academy we need to be able to find one to send them to and that can be difficult with scheduling and corvid restrictions. The academy itself is six months on average then the candidate will learn here at the department through a field training period which is three months. So as you can see it can take roughly 13-15 months to properly replace a retired officer. It can be a difficult process, but it is one of the most important processes that the department has and we have to get it right.

“We do have several candidates on this list that we feel can exceed the expectations of the community and be a good addition to our department. I will be working with our HR department and the city manager over the next few weeks to finalize the hiring plan for this list,” Balling said

In other business, Holthaus told commission members Fire Chief Chad Hollinger will be opening up testing for a new fire fighers hiring list.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.