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Powell Prepares To Name A New Police Chief


The City of Powell’s search for a new police chief has been narrowed to four finalists from the 32 people who applied. They include current chiefs in suburban Chicago and rural Kansas, a lieutenant from the Western Slope of Colorado, and a sergeant in Rock Springs.

The city hired KRW Associates, a company based in Colorado, to conduct a nationwide search for a replacement after Chief Roy Eckerdt retired in December.

Members of the public are invited to meet all four of the remaining candidates during a Thursday, April 25, community reception at Plaza Diane. During the 5:30-7PM  event, attendees will have an opportunity to offer their thoughts on the finalists via comment cards.

Among the four candidates is James Rhea of the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.  Rhea has been a sergeant on the force since 2022 in Rock Springs; Greg Tuliszewski of the Craig, Colorado police department.  He has been in law enforcement for roughly 35 years, including a 10-year stint as the chief of police in Hayden, Colorado; Tom Heroin has been serving as the chief of police in Lyons, Illinois – just outside of Chicago – since 2018.  He has also served as an assistant commissioner at the Chicago Department of Aviation, which runs the Chicago O’Hare and Midway airports; and Cory Williams who is the current chief of police in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas and has also served as a police officer in Yuma, Arizona and Ulysses, Kansas.

After the community meeting on April 25, the candidates will be interviewed by a series of three, five-member panels made up of city staff, a panel representing organizations throughout Powell, and a group of community and business members.

City Administrator Zack Thorington will make the final decision after all the input from the public and the panels has been presented to him.

Overall, the city has said it wants a chief with “command-level experience, a community policing mindset and strong leadership capabilities.” The chosen candidate will oversee a staff of about two dozen officers and dispatchers.

Powell Police Lt. Matt McCaslin — who did not apply for the chief position — is serving as the department’s interim leader.

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