Horicon Common Council, PFC At Odds Over Police Chief Hiring Process

(Horicon) Horicon’s Common Council and the Police and Fire Commission are split on the recruitment process to hire the city’s next police chief. Chief Joe Adamson announced his decision to retire several weeks ago, effective April 10th. Under state statutes, the Police and Fire Commission have complete authority over the hiring process and who is ultimately selected to fill the position. The common council has no involvement or say in matters decided by the commission. However, those on the commission are appointed by the city’s mayor.  

The divide between city leaders and the PFC began when the commission elected to only post the job opening externally. Horicon’s employee handbook cites that openings for city positions must be posted internally first, eliminating any subordinated candidates before recruiting outside talent. The common council called a meeting this week to discuss the matter with the PFC. Several alderpersons were concerned over a possible lawsuit if the commission hired someone from the outside without first eliminating any internal candidates. 

Horicon’s Police and Fire Commission President Brett Culver says state statutes supersede the city’s employee handbook. He says all they want is to find a chief that is the best fit for Horicon. Culver says any internal candidate that applies would go straight to final interviews. 

There was also some discussion about the population of the city of Horicon and the state statute that indicates a Police and Fire Commission is only mandated in a municipality with 4,000 or more people. In the most recent census, Horicon had a population of 3,620. The common council is planning to meet sometime next week to discuss next steps.