Police chief search narrowed to seven

Candidates have extensive background in law enforcement

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— Oak Creek town officials have the field of chief of police applicants narrowed down to seven candidates.

The candidates will be interviewed on Wednesday.

When the narrowing down process started, town officials created a short list of 13 from 33 applicants. From there, five told town officials they weren't interested in the job anymore. Of that eight, one more dropped out this week when contacted for an interview, Oak Creek Town Manager Ray Leibensperger said.

Leibensperger said the applicants will be interviewed by phone by a nine-person hiring committee on Wednesday.

Routt County Undersheriff Dan Taylor is one of the members on the hiring committee.

There are six law enforcement officers invited to interview the applicants.

Taylor said obviously one of the primary attributes he is looking for from candidates is good experience and a strong background in law enforcement.

But he also will look at the candidate's ability to work with all the law enforcement agencies in the county.

"I'm looking for some level of communication and how they feel about cooperating with other agencies in the community," Taylor said.

Every final applicant has extensive experience in law enforcement and some hold college masters degrees, according to their resumes.

"It's an excellent group of people and it will be a tough job making a decision on one," said Sonja Norris, Oak Creek police commissioner and town trustee.

Ideally, she said she sees a prime candidate being not too young that they will leave in a couple years and not someone just looking to retire. She said the seven finalist are a good mix of people in between those two extremes.

However, Norris said she isn't expecting it to be a smooth ride until the hire. There still is the issue of higher housing costs in the area that tend to drive good applicants away, she said.

"We had plenty of people back out (of the interviewing) when they found out about the price of living here," Norris said.

The final decision on who will be offered the job to replace former chief Dan Kelliher, who resigned earlier this year after accepting a job for the Routt County Sheriff's Department, will be made by the Oak Creek Board of Trustees.

Leibensperger said a formal process of how the committee will select their recommendations to the board has not been set.

Interviews will be all day, Wednesday.

The following are brief overviews of the fanalists. Information of applicants was taken from their resumes attained by the Steamboat Pilot and Today by request from the town of Oak Creek.

John J. Jarecki Jr., Romeoville, Ill.

Jarecki has 28 years of police experience with the Romeoville Police Department, Romeoville, Ill. From 1990 to present, he was a lieutenant for the police department, which includes supervising officers on patrol, traffic enforcement and investigative functions.

Jarecki also has served as a patrol sergeant and detective sergeant in Romeoville.

He has a master of science in social justice and bachelor of arts in sociology from Lewis University, training in police staff and command from the Northwestern University.

Friedrich Kreuch, Avon

Kreuch has 16 years experience at the Alma Police Department, from 1980 to 1996 as a police officer and assistant chief. For eight months in 1998 he also was the chief of police in the small town, which is east of Breckenridge. Kreuch has two years experience as deputy sheriff at Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department, five years experience at the jail of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department in Cleveland, Ohio and extensive crowd control experience at public gatherings for the Lakewood Police Department from 1973 to 1996.

Currently, he is working as a flight attendant for American Airlines.

Thomas W. Ling, Lake Helen, Fla.

Ling is currently working as the chief of police for the Oak Hill Police Department, a position he has held since June of 1999. Before a brief stint doing advertising sales for a publishing company in 1998 and 1999, Ling worked as the chief of police for the city of Lake Helen Police Department from 1980 to 1998.

Ling has experience working in law enforcement dating back to 1971 for the Orange City Police Department, city of Lake Mary Police Department, city of Winter Springs Police Department and the city of Longwood Police Department.

He was in the United States Air Force between 1962 and 1966 and in the United States Navy between 1967 and 1970.

David LaRose, Akron

From 1997 to 2001, LaRose oversaw the criminal justice degree program for Northeastern Junior College in Sterling. In 1996 and 1997, LaRose was the chief of investigations for the Washington County Sheriff's Department in Akron.

He also was a lieutenant for Washington County. LaRose was a police officer for one year with the Frisco Police Department and nine years on the job for the Thorton Police Department.

He has two years experience in the Army Reserves.

Mark F. Lowe, Satellite Beach, Fla.

Since 1985, Lowe has been the operations/administrative commander for the Satellite Beach Police Department, where he manages 19 officers and 10 civilian employees. He also has been teaching criminal justice courses at Brevard Community College since 1991 and the Florida Metropolitan University since 1996.

He holds a masters degree in public administration from Webster University and a bachelor degree in police administration from Eastern Kentucky University.

Terry W. Horner, Fort Calhoun, Neb.

From 1996 to 2000, Horner was the sheriff of Washington County, Neb., which has about 20,000 citizens.

During his stint as sheriff, Horner managed 27 full-time deputies, 10 part-time deputies and a support staff of 17 people. Currently, Horner is working as a police officer for the city of Ashland Police Department.

Before his sheriff's job, Horner worked as the public safety director of Beaver Lake-Plattsmouth, Neb., as a detective for the BN-Santa Fe Police in Omaha, Neb. and as a road sergeant for the Cass County Sheriff's Department in Plattsmouth.

He has a masters degree in management and a bachelors degree in criminal justice.

Milton Bailey Bowling, Smyrna, Tenn.

Since 1998, Bowling has been the captain of the La Vergne Police Department in Tennessee.

Before that, Bowling worked in the narcotics division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation from 1985 to 1998. At that job he worked as an assistant coordinator to the governor's task force on marijuana eradication and was a Medal of Valor recipient.

Bowling has police experience in Tennessee dating back to 1977 in the patrol division in the Nashville-Davidson County Metro Police Department, as a deputy sheriff fore the Dekalb County Sheriff's Department and as a dispatcher and police officer at the Smithville Police Department.

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