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Herring to fill police lieutenant post

Bellefontaine Police Department’s 23-year veteran Rick Herring will be the next lieutenant after the city’s Civil Service Commission approved a two-man eligibility list.

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HERRING

It’s still up in the air as to when he will take the post.

“It will be relatively soon,” said Chief Brandon Standley, “but the next challenge is figuring out how to address our understaffing concerns.

“If I could, I’d have had him yesterday, but we have to cover the shifts right now.”

Within two weeks, the commission could meet again to certify the result of a sergeant’s promotional test.

Six officers have moved onto the assessment portion of the exam and that will take place Saturday.

Once an eligibility list is set, then Chief Standley can promote from it.

Still, he and the lieutenant-in-waiting will have to consider how those promotions will affect patrol assignments.

Sgt. Herring scored higher than Sgt. D. Allen Shields to fill the post.

Chief Standley said, “I appreciate Sgt. Shields for stepping up into leadership roles and for participating in the selection process.”

The lieutenant’s position has been open since March when Ron Birt retired.

Sgt. Herring, Sgt. Shields and Sgt. Ed Peters, along with other officers, have split the administrative responsibilities of the position in the interim.

Sgt. Herring has been a patrol officer and a D.A.R.E officer. He has filled a sergeant’s role for 12 years.

“I feel blessed,” he said Thursday after the commission meeting. “I’m ready to serve the community in a different capacity.”

As for personnel issues, Chief Standley told the commission he will need them in the coming months.

“We’re coming upon a time of where we’re non-stop filling the gaps,” he said. “I appreciate your willingness to meet on such short notice.”

“That’s why we’re here,” Chairman Jack Ritter said, “to keep things moving for the community.”

Chief Standley is currently working through the second portion of patrol officer candidates from last year’s testing.

He is limited on hiring because of budget constraints but he hopes to add another officer yet this year.

There are two open positions now and another may come open with a pending retirement in June.

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