- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Two local officers are part of the final four candidates selected for the Newton Police Chief position.

Lieutenants Rob Burdess and Wes Breckenridge, along with Tennessee Senior Consultant Jon Fehlman and Creston Police Chief Paul Vermeer are the four finalists for the position and will begin the interview process Wednesday.

“I’m really pleased with the four that we have,” City Administrator Bob Knabel said.

Burdess, a 16-year veteran of the NPD and Breckenridge, who has served 22 years on the force, are current lieutenants at the Newton Police Department. Breckenridge is currently working as the acting police chief, while Burdess served that role previously.

Fehlman is a senior consultant in Murfreesboro, Tenn. and was formerly chief of police in Bainbridge Island, Wash. He also served in the police department of Santa Rosa, Calif., Knabel said.

Vermeer is the current Creston Police Chief and formerly served for the Carroll Police Department.

“I think we have a great mix of candidates, great experience and this will give us options and choices in terms of experience and education,” Knabel said.

Following the interviews, candidates will be more thoroughly vetted for reference checks and other considerations, Knabel said.

“We will take a list of candidates that will be seriously considered to the civil service commission. They would be placed on a list that would need to go to the council, then I would be authorized to hire from that list,” Knabel said.

The process is expected to be completed in August with the city tendering an offer in mid- to late August. A transition date of Sept. 1 is expected.

Retiring Police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich has been utilizing vacation days since April 7 and is set to officially retire Aug. 31 is planned.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or [email protected]

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