CAMAS, WA –- Following the interviews for the City of Camas Police Chief position, officials with the City of Camas announced Thursday that the search for the next Chief will continue for the time being.
City of Camas Mayor Steve Hogan said that the initial candidate pool was trimmed down to two finalists, however, he’s interested in finding candidates to better fit for Camas’ needs.
Mayor Hogan acknowledged that the finalists were both excellent candidates, each with unique strengths they could bring to the position. However, the decision was made to continue the search.
“While it’s unfortunate the position was not filled, it will be reopened as Camas continues to search for the City’s next Police Chief,” said Hogan.
In addition, current Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey has agreed to push back his retirement date to provide support to the City while the process to hire his replacement continues.
City of Camas Communications Director Bryan Rachal acknowledged hiring for public sector positions is challenging.
“It’s difficult to hire for any position lately, but especially difficult to hire Police Officers,” he said. “There are numerous factors that play into that, including availability of positions and varying levels of pay. In addition to recruiting for the Chief, we’re also recruiting for Officers currently.”
Citing privacy measures, the city will will not release the names of the top finalists.
Rachal said the city is using The Bob Murray recruiting firm to help fill this position, which is a contract that costs Camas $18,500 plus expenses, not to exceed $25,000.
“As mentioned, since we were not successful this round, they are performing the next recruitment process at no additional cost to the City,” Rachal clarified. “We will NOT pay anything additional for the recruiting services.”
Background checks for both finalists cost about $6,000 for full investigations. Background checks are required at a certain level for Police Chief applicants and certain requirements must be met when doing them, which is why that cost is higher than a standard background check.
At this time, Hogan hasn’t made clear exactly why the candidates weren’t a good fit. All five candidates attended a public meet and greet last year at Camas Public Library.