DIXON – Five officers are in the running to become the city’s new police chief, and the City Council decided Monday that person doesn’t have to live within the city’s boundaries.
Police Lts. Brad Sibley and Clay Whelan, and Sgts. Mike Wolfley, Matt Richards and Steve Howell make up the pool of candidates looking for the promotion to chief, collectively bringing about half a century worth of experience at the Dixon Police Department.
“They really all have the skills and experience to lead our department,” said City Manager Danny Langloss, who was chief for nearly a decade and will choose his successor.
Applications for the position were due Friday, interviews will take with the advisory hiring committee Wednesday, and the new chief will likely be named in the next 2 weeks.
Langloss originally received six letters of interest for the position last week. One person withdrew his application, and because two of remaining five don’t live within city limits, he asked the council to determine whether they should stick with the residency requirement or change it.
City ordinance requires the police and fire chiefs to live within the city limits, but the council extended that to the school district boundaries with a 4-1 vote.
Mayor Li Arellano Jr. was against changing the rule and said it was originally put in place so that the chiefs would be close by to take charge of an emergency situation, and it also builds a stronger connection between that person and the community.
The residency requirement also made sure that someone running operations and influencing city policy was accountable to the same rules as residents, he said.
Arellano and Councilman Kevin Marx both voted against changing the city manager’s residency requirement for that reason – Langloss’ contract was approved by a 3-to-2 vote Oct. 25, and the council officially changed the city manager ordinance Monday – again by a 3-to-2 vote – to stretch the requirement to the school district lines.
Marx said though he still thinks top city leaders should live within the city, it wouldn’t make sense to change the city manager requirement and not the others.
The new chief’s salary will be in the $100,000 to $103,000 range, and Langloss said he will go with the advisory hiring committee’s best candidate.
The committee consists of Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steven Casstevens, who is a vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police; Brad Bloom, a retired police chief and assistant village manager and director of public safety in Hinsdale; the Rev. Michael Cole, a member of the Dixon Police and Fire Commission; Jon Mandrell, vice president of Academics and Student Services at Sauk Valley Community College; Lee County Sheriff John Simonton; Councilmen Dennis Considine and Mike Venier; and Dixon Police Sgt. Doug Lehman and Detective Ryan Bivins.
The City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.
Go to discoverdixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.