Jan 12, 2016

Cody police chief search down to five; meet and greet Thursday

The city of Cody has narrowed its search for a new police chief to five policemen from around the country.

The finalists include current Cody Police Sgt. Jon Beck, a police commander from Maplewood, Minnesota, another commander from Commerce City, Colorado, a lieutenant from Jefferson County, Colorado, and a deputy chief of police from Farmington, New Mexico.

The five officers were picked out of an initial pool of 77 applicants.

The City of Cody is looking for a replacement for former Cody Police Department Chief Perry Rockvam (center). Photo courtesy Cody police
The city will host a community reception with all five finalists on Thursday, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Olive Glenn Country Club. The public is invited to attend and meet the candidates.

The finalists will then be formally interviewed by a panel of a half-dozen community members (including a representative from Cody City Council), a panel of city department heads and Cody City Administrator Barry Cook on Friday, Jan. 15.

Cook hopes to make a decision within a few days of the interviews.

“Ideally, we’d like to have the person start in April,” he said; Cook added that if Beck is chosen, it could be a quicker transition.

The successful candidate will replace former chief Perry Rockvam, who retired this fall after 33 years in law enforcement.

The finalists are:

• Commerce City, Colorado, Police Commander Chuck Baker has more than 36 years of police experience. That includes past stints as acting chief of the department and its roughly 88 officers and his current assignment as acting deputy chief. Baker has a bachelor’s degree in applied management and a master’s in public affairs.

Commerce City — a suburb of Denver — had an estimated population of 49,799 in 2013.

• Cody Police Sgt. Jonathan Beck has been a sergeant with the department for 14 years and spent two years as an Albany County Sheriff’s Deputy before that. Beck — who holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business — spent December as the department’s acting chief.

• Maplewood, Minnesota, Police Commander David Kvam has 26 years of police experience, including serving as an officer, investigator, sergeant, lieutenant and acting chief. He holds a master’s degree in police leadership.

Maplewood is a suburb of St. Paul and has 38,000 residents.

• Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ron Leonard has 28 years of law enforcement experience, including stints in investigations, detention, support services and patrol. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Jefferson County, with a population of more than 550,000, lies just west of the city of Denver, encompassing cities such as Lakewood, Golden and part of Littleton.

• Farmington, New Mexico, Deputy Chief Keith McPheeters has 24 years of police experience and worked as a crisis negotiator, detective, field training officer, grant coordinator, patrol sergeant and SWAT supervisor. The Rexburg, Idaho, native holds a bachelor’s in criminal justice.

Farmington has about 46,000 residents and 182 employees in its police department.

The full biographies released by the city can be read in the document embedded below.

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