Enumclaw hires firm to search for new police chief

A new chief could be in uniform by spring, providing leadership for the Enumclaw Police Department.

A new chief should be in uniform by spring, according to a schedule drafted by the firm hired to provide leadership for the Enumclaw Police Department.

The City Council voted Nov. 13 to hire Prothman, a company based in Issaquah, to lead the search for a new chief. The agreement calls for a fee of $19,500, along with travel costs estimated at another $5,000.

Enumclaw Police Capt. Bob Huebler has served as acting chief since the August retirement of Jim Zoll, who had been on the job a bit more than 13 years.

In a memo to the council, City Administrator Chris Searcy noted that “the services of a professional company will enhance the pool of applicants in both quantity and quality.”

Prothman is no stranger to Enumclaw, having previously been hired to recruit candidates for other leadership positions. That work includes the 2004 process that brought Zoll to Enumclaw.

Zoll came from his hometown of Chula Vista, California, a suburb of San Diego, where he had been the assistant chief.

In a detailed “scope of services,” Prothman indicates it will meet with local leaders to “thoroughly understand the values and culture” of the city before developing a profile of the ideal candidate. Then comes the marketing element, when Prothman uses print and internet advertising, along with direct mail and its own website to ferret out possible matches for Enumclaw.

Included in Prothman’s target audience are law enforcement personnel who may not be thinking about a career change.

“We recognize that often the best candidates are not actively looking for a new position – this is the person we want to reach and recruit,” according to the contract signed by both the city and Prothman.

Prothman whittles the field of candidates, conducts background checks and contacts references before passing along the names of finalists. The company assists local decision-makers with interviews and evaluations of top candidates.

A draft of the recruitment schedule suggests final interviews could take place in mid-March.

If the recruitment does not yield a favorable candidate, Prothman will repeat the process for free, charging only for expenses.

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