Steve Schulz

Casper police Captain Steve Schulz, the department’s interim chief, visits the new Hogadon Basin Lodge with other city staff and City Council members in May. He is one of four finalists for the chief’s position.

Alan Rogers, Star-Tribune

The search for a Casper police chief is down to five finalists, City Manager Carter Napier said Friday.

Interviews for the position will take place next week and the city manager hopes to finalize a hire by Nov. 10. Napier had previously said he hoped to hire a new chief by the end of October to take over in time for the December holidays.

The candidates include Interim Chief Steve Schulz, the former chief of a much larger agency, one “experienced command staffer” from a larger agency, the chief of a department roughly the size of Casper’s and the deputy chief of another similarly sized department.

Napier said the city manager’s office is in the process of contacting the other three finalists for the position and their current employers. He said he would be able to release the names of the other three finalists on Monday morning.

The position has been staffed by Schulz in an interim capacity since May. The previous chief, Jim Wetzel, was dismissed May 5, following a month of turmoil at the department centered on complaints of morale problems. However, the city has not offered an official explanation for Wetzel’s departure.

Napier has said he is looking for a candidate who is able to partner with citizens, local agencies and nearby police departments, in addition to directing officers inside the Casper Police Department.

Napier said he will be able to consult an outside review of the police department as he makes his hiring decision. The review has been in the works since spring and was recently finalized. The results of the review were made public Friday.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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