Zeroing-in on a select few for one of the Kaua‘i’s top law enforcement positions, what was once a pool of 600 candidates has since been trimmed by a consulting firm to six contenders.
Heading the county’s year-long police chief search is California-based CPS Human Resource Services, a government agency, which was contracted by the county in March.
CPS representative Kim Valenzano told the Kaua‘i Police Commission yesterday that of the 600 candidates, the firm received 60 completed applications.
Of those 60 responses, 20 were selected for a phone interview, she said.
Disappointed that commissioners didn’t get to pore through a larger number of applications, Carol Furtado, a police commissioner and its former chair, said it was her understanding that the entity would have more than six to review.
“I didn’t want this taken from the commission and put in the hands of a consultant,” Furtado said.
Deputy County Attorney Rosa Flores said if the commission wanted to review the scrapped candidates they could, but warned it could adversely affect an already lengthy-timeline and would require another contract with CPS, the first of which cost $50,000.
But Police Commissioner Leon Gonsalves said it was his recollection that the entity had weighed legal issues and decided as a whole that it would be best to have an outside source screen applicants.
Police Commissioner Thomas Iannucci conveyed a similar sentiment, noting that he thought the recruiting consultant’s $50,000-price tag meant CPS would be handling most of the “leg work.”
Though Iannucci and Gonsalves both said they, too, would have liked to see more applicants — all commissioners, Furtado included, agreed that they didn’t want to prolong the chief-selection process.
“We’ve put it in (CPS’s) hands,” Gonsalves said. “At this point, we’re bound by what we asked.”
What commissioners also asked for when helping to draft the requirements for the new police chief is that the candidate is local, as outlined in the advertisement for the position.
To be considered for the position, applicants will have had to have lived in the state for a year immediately preceding their employment.
Though no hard timeline has been given for the new chief to be secured, Iannucci said the position will most likely be filled within the next three months.
Beginning Sunday, the position — the advertisement for which cites a $75,000 salary pending a review for an increase — will officially offer a salary of up to $93,000, depending on experience and qualifications.
In addition, the starting salary for recruits will increase to $42,000 per year from approximately $38,000, as negotiated by Officer Bryson Ponce, SHOPO Kaua‘i Chapter chairman.
• Amanda C. Gregg, assistant editor/staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or firstname.lastname@example.org.