Search for new sergeant will stretch over several weeks
The New Albany Police Department will test candidates for the open sergeant's position on Feb. 18 at the public-services station on Bevelhymer Road.
The tests will be the first step toward identifying a list of candidates in a search process expected to stretch over the next several weeks.
Chief Mark Chaney said the department posted the position internally Jan. 11. It then was advertised the past two weeks. The deadline for applications is Feb. 14.
Chaney said seven New Albany police officers meet the qualifications for sergeant, which include seven years experience and two years in a supervisory position.
So far, Kris Daniels and Joe Rennert are the only two qualified internal candidates who have applied.
Chaney said he also has been contacted by two people outside the department who may apply for the position.
He said the department needs a fourth sergeant to help fill holes in supervision, especially on weekends. He said the department tried to hire a fourth sergeant three years ago but a hiring freeze was instituted by New Albany City Council.
The need was reiterated in 2012 during the city's first contract negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9.
According to the posting, the pay range for the position is between $69,728 and $83,050 annually, and the position includes benefits. Police officers have the same benefits package as other city employees, which require them to pay 5 percent of costs. The city picks up 95 percent.
After the written tests are complete Feb. 18, the city will ask the top 10 to 12 candidates to meet with an oral review board, made up of two New Albany sergeants and four supervisors from other local police departments. Chaney said that will take place March 11.
The top three to five candidates from that meeting will be interviewed by Chaney and City Manager Joseph Stefanov.
The final candidate will be chosen from the interview process.
Once a new sergeant is hired, Chaney said, it might be necessary to change the sergeants' schedules to have them work four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days.
The police department currently has 12 officers, three sergeants and the chief. The sergeants and the chief were not part of the city's recently negotiated contract agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police.