LOCK HAVEN - The city is ready to hire three new police officers.
City Council received a list at its meeting Monday evening of the top five candidates and went with the three who had the highest scores on the various exams they must complete before being hired. Also a factor in their placement as the top three were their "excellent references" obtained during the required background checks, according to City Manager Richard W. Marcinkevage.
The Civil Service Commission creates the list and always must include more candidates than there are positions to fill, Marcinkevage explained. Council always accepts the candidates by the Civil Service ranking, unless one or more of them on the short list are veterans. The list did not include any veterans, but if it had, Marcinkevage said, council would have given them top priority.
The top three candidates are Jonathan Gregory and Elizabeth Kemmerer, both of the Trout Run area, and Andrew Bock, of the Erie area. All are working in some aspect of law enforcement now, the city manager said.
The first vacancy came open when Officer Dave Schultz retired in July 2012. The lengthy testing for a new round of candidates, which took a little less than seven months, began that August with the written exam.
Detective Sgt. Charles Shoemaker retired in October. Cpl. Keith Kibler recently was promoted to sergeant to replace him, and Officer Brian Burger was promoted to corporal, replacing Kibler at that rank.
Also, Officer Timothy L. Davis resigned Dec. 1.
The three new officers, should they accept the city's offer, will step into the vacancies previously filled by Burger, Davis and Schultz.
Councilman William E. Baney said they could be on the streets, with a coach, within a month.
"We are anxiously awaiting seeing them come before council and seeing them in service," Mayor Richard P. Vilello Jr. said. "I know as council we get terribly frustrated at how long it takes from the time of a retirement to the time of new hirings."
He added that the hirings were the only reason council did not postpone its Monday meeting due to the weather.
"I appreciate everybody coming out on a snowy night so we could have this vote and get our part done quickly," he said.