Those sitting on the edge of their seats for the announcement of the Marco Island Police Chief will likely only need to wait one more weekend.
City Manager Steve Thompson plans to announce who, of the final four police chief candidates, will become Marco Island’s top cop Monday morning.
The four candidates who were interviewed by a panel Aug. 1 will head the department of 32 sworn officers. Thompson initially narrowed down more than 250 applicants to five candidates. One of those five, Hallandale Beach Police Chief Thomas Magill, withdrew his application July 28 due to concerns for the health and care of a family member.
Magill’s withdrawal left two out-of-state applicants and two applicants from within the Marco Island Police Department still in the running for the position, which offers more than $103,000 as annual salary.
The four remaining candidates, City of Troy, New York Police Chief Nicholas Kaiser, Deputy Chief Edward Preston of New Bern, NC., Marco Island Acting Chief Thom Carr and Marco Island Police Officer Ed Stenzel, were interviewed by Thompson and eight others who aided in the hiring process.
The nine-person interview panel was made up of the city’s department directors and City of Cape Coral Police Chief Rob Petrovich, who Thompson said has a “great reputation.”
Thompson said Petrovich’s role was not needed for technical expertise, but his reputation and experience in law enforcement were very helpful.
“There is some information that came out of the interviews that I’d like to follow up on. I’m not satisfied that I’m ready to make the decision,” Thompson explained for his reason in delaying the choice.
Follow-up on information revealed in interviews as well as background checks should be available by Monday morning, said Lisa Douglass, the city’s public information coordinator.
If all goes as planned, Thompson said he will then contact all the candidates followed by an announcement to City Council and the public early Monday.
“It’s always a difficult decision, especially when you have really great candidates,” Thompson said.
The Marco Island Police Foundation, a nonprofit organization which supports police officers and their families, is encouraging Thompson to choose Carr for the position.
Preston appears to have a good rapport with the press and coworkers in North Carolina. He said he only applied in Marco and is hoping to get back to his Southwest Florida roots.
“(Preston) is tough but he’s fair ... He’ll direct traffic even today ... He doesn’t intimidate people. I’ve never seen anything like him,” said Francine Sawyer a reporter with the Sun Journal, Preston’s home town newspaper. Sawyer says she’s known Preston at least seven years.
Mixed reviews of Kaiser, 60 seem to come out of his Troy, New York community. Kaiser owns a condominium in Port Charlotte and also applied for the chief of police in Fort Myers.
“Chief Kaiser is not without his detractors. We found him to be a good man but not the strongest of leaders,” wrote Democratus Santorum in the Troy political publication, The Troy Polloi.
Stenzel is one of the candidates who does not seem to have outspoken supporters or detractors. The former assistant chief of police in the City of Milwaukee has been an officer on Marco Island for two years. He said he was honored to be among such strong candidates.
Richard Shanahan of the Marco Island Police Foundation said Stenzel is a “great police officer” but would personally recommend Carr for the position of chief.
The police chief position opened when former Police Chief Roger Reinke left for a position as assistant city manager in Naples this May.
Carr has been filling Reinke’s shoes temporarily during a national search for a permanent chief of the department which has a $3.9 million annual budget.
Check marconews.com for updates and the final announcement of the new Marco Island Police Chief.