After months of searching the City of Lake Stevens is much closer to hiring a new police chief for the city’s 29 person police department.
Just last week the city interviewed four very promising applicants after receiving 21 applications from interested individuals from all over the country.
“We put together the same interview panel as we had last time which included community members, staff and police professionals, it was a really good mix,” Lake Stevens City Administrator Jan Berg said.
The city council also had the opportunity to interview the candidates on Monday, August 12.
“The public and police employees came later to listen and the candidates went around and talked to people,” Berg explained. “The Mayor brought back three of the four the next morning for a more personal interview with him and included Interim Chief Dan Lorentzen. They selected a top candidate and we are now in the process of doing a background check on that individual.”
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs helped the city recruit the applicants. Two of the four final candidates are from out-of-state.
Richard Waugh is from Littleton, Colo. and is a former police chief.
Leon Nixon hails from Los Angeles, Calif. and has worked for the LAPD up through the rank of Lieutenant.
Phil Schenck is from Sunnyside, Wash. where he is the police chief and finally there is Ron Schaub who is with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and is currently doing a term as Stillicum Police Chief.
Each of these candidates have been in the police business for more than 20 years.
Leon Nixon is the candidate who has been selected to go further in the hiring process. He currently works for the Los Angeles Port Police and has worked at LAX but is currently serving in their marine division.
“He was the top candidate with both interview panels and top recommendation from the council. So, it was pretty consistent with all of the feedback the mayor received,” Berg said. “The mayor has offered Mr. Nixon a conditional offer and now we go through and extend some additional information. We want to make sure we are a good fit for him and he’s a good fit for us and then if the background checks out we will make him a formal offer.”
The whole process can take up to two months which includes the background check, relocation and he will have to pass a polygraph test.