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Search begins for new police chief

The first steps to find a new police chief in Hastings are being taken.

Hastings City Administrator Melanie Mesko Lee is meeting Wednesday, July 10, with three members of the city council to discuss the hiring timeline.

Current chief Paul Schnell will be leaving the city July 21 for the top job with the Maplewood Police Department.

Mesko Lee said an interim chief will be appointed to serve between the time when Schnell leaves and when the city has a new chief start.

“We will have a period of time where we will do an appointment, but it is our goal to aggressively recruit for this position,” she said. “We have an aggressive timeline.”

Mesko Lee said a full search will be done and that members of the public will have an opportunity to be involved in the process.

“We will be engaging members of the public,” she said.

Among the ways people will be able to get involved is by sitting in the interviews with the candidates. When Schnell was hired in 2010, a meet-and-greet was held at City Hall with the three finalists, and something similar could happen again.

Those are among the details Mesko Lee will be discussing with council members Barb Hollenbeck, Danna Elling Schultz and Ed Riveness, who are all members of the public safety committee.

That meeting, which is open to the public, begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall.