Lueneburg, Gauthier among 3 police chief finalists
Final interviews, ‘meet and greet’ set for March 16
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Rhinelander’s acting police chief and an Oneida County Sheriff’s Department captain are among the three finalists named Wednesday by the city’s Police and Fire Commission for the city’s vacant police chief position.
Commission chairman Todd McEldowney said police captain Ron Lueneburg, sheriff’s department captain Lloyd Gauthier and the other finalist, current Kiel police chief David Funkhouser, are all scheduled for final interviews with the commission the morning of March 16.
After those interviews would conclude, McEldowney said there will also be a “meet and greet” that day when members of the community will be invited to meet with the three finalists at City Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., after which the commission will reconvene and name its preference for police chief.
McEldowney said he is very pleased with the finalists the commission selected from the 30 applicants and believes all three finalists would make a good police chief. He noted the commission’s selection for chief would be subject to a background check being completed by the city’s paid consultant, Stephen Hintz of Public Administration Associates, before that person could begin the position.
Though the Police and Fire Commission has the authority to select the next police chief, McEldowney noted the Finance Committee and the City Council would be responsible for putting together a compensation package acceptable to the candidate selected for him to become the permanent police chief.
Rhinelander’s police chief position has been vacant since Nov. 1 following the resignation of Michael Steffes, who left after more than nine years on the job to accept a position with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Lueneburg has been the acting police chief during the process to hire a permanent chief.