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Police chief search begins

The Oak Harbor Police are hunting for a leader.

City Administrator Paul Schmidt said a statewide search for a new police chief started last Friday. Officials hope to have the chief named in the beginning of June.

The chief, who will make a salary of $75,000 to $98,000 a year, runs a department of 29 commissioned officers and 13 non-commissioned personnel. The department’s annual budget is about $4.8 million.

Former chief Steve Almon left office last December to return to his home state of Oklahoma in order to help care for his ailing parents. Since then, Capt. Rick Wallace has been acting chief.

Mayor Jim Slowik will choose a new chief, though City Council will have to approve his decision. Slowik said he expects to receive applications from within the department, where he said there are plenty of top-notch candidates.

“I would love to be able to promote from within,” he said.

Schmidt agreed that current officers are encouraged to apply.

“We’re looking for a progressive individual who will carry on the tradition in Oak Harbor of quality law enforcement,” he said.

Before Almon left, he helped reorganize the department by naming two lieutenants in charge of patrol and special operations.

The application package and other information about the position is online at www.oakharbor.org.

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