City of Bismarck Interviews Police Chief Candidates | VideoJoel Porter | 12/10/2012
This week, they sat down with city commissioners for the first round of interviews.
Three veteran police officers, two of whom traveled hundreds of miles to Bismarck, were all on the hot seat as they competed for the high profile job of police chief.
"I`m certainly not looking for someone to come in and make radical changes. I`m looking for someone to come in with a vision," city commissioner Parrell Grossman said.
A vision that includes protecting and serving a growing city with a force of more than 100 officers.
"Again, it`s not a popularity contest. But people want a strong leader.
People want to have somebody to follow. They want somebody who`s got some
direction," candidate Christopher Elg said. Elg made the trip from West Monroe, Louisiana.
"I`m excited about it. My wife is very excited about it. And I`d be honored to work with you and honored to serve your community," candidate John Zapalac said. Zapalac traveled from Lemon Cove, California.
Bismarck has been without a police chief for more than six months after former chief Keith Witt retired at the end of May. In that time, the job has been managed by several lieutenants within the department.
"I think the team in place, the interim police chief Fred Wooten and the two deputy police chiefs have done a very good job. And now it`s an opportunity for somebody new to come in," Grossman said.
The new leader of the department could be deputy chief Dan Donlin, a veteran with nearly 30 years of experience, including time as a detective and a SWAT team officer.
"Treat people, when you deal with them, no matter how minor or big you think their issue is, treat them with the dignity and respect that you`d want your loved one treated," Donlin said.
Commissioners will tally the candidate scores before making a recommendation.