by Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter
Jeff Beahen, the former Elk River chief of police, is one of two finalists for the job of Rogers police chief.
The other is Lt. Ross Gullickson of Three Rivers Parks District.
A hiring decision is expected after the Rogers City Council interviews both candidates.
The Rogers City Council discussed their final steps in choosing their new police chief at their regular meeting May 8.
Five candidates were interviewed for the position by a group of 14 individuals, composed of city staff, local police chiefs and others. Of the 14 interviewers, 13 chose one individual, Jeff Beahen, as their top choice.
Bill Joynes, a consultant hired by Rogers to help select the new chief, recommended that the council take the unique step of advancing only Beahen to the final round of interviews.
“While in Elk River, he spent a tremendous amount of time in the community,” Joynes said. “He’s a great communicator. He fits the position to a T. Our level of comfort with him is much more than the other candidates.”
Council Member Rob Bell was hesitant to change the selection process that had been carefully established to select the new chief.
“I think we would be committing a grave error in omitting the process and just narrowing it down to one,” Bell said. “I have very little doubt that the outcome won’t be the same, but I think it will be a significant challenge in the future for us to have skipped that part of the process.
“Six months from now, people will remember that the Rogers council cut corners and didn’t go through the process. Let’s honor what’s been done so far and just complete it.”
Bell’s argument persuaded the council to proceed with more candidates. Joynes informed them that interviewing and performing background checks on more candidates will cost several thousand dollars more and the council decided to mitigate these costs by proceeding with only two candidates, Beahen and Gullickson.
Gullickson’s significant credentials include his current position with the Three Rivers Park District, as well as several other local law enforcement agencies, and attendance at the FBI Academy.
The council plans to hold a public forum for the candidates in upcoming weeks and expects to have the new chief in place no later than the beginning of July.