New leadership for the Henderson Police Department could be right around the corner.
At the Henderson City Council meeting Wednesday, Nov. 20, the city government took the next step in hiring a new police chief, setting a special meeting date for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 where the candidates will be interviewed.
At this point, the search has been narrowed down to just two candidates: Dmitri Ikonitski, of Morris, and Randall Tiegs, of Henderson. City Administrator Lon Berberich couldn’t share any more information about the candidates, but the public will be able to learn more at the special meeting. Berberich noted that the meeting will continue as planned, provided they meet the standards of the city’s background check.
Mayor Paul Menne commented on what would go down during the meeting.
“The two candidates will both be brought in and asked a series of the same questions,” said Menne. “Then their backgrounds will be reviewed by the council, and then the council at that point will either decide to take action or decide to do something else.”
Menne expressed confidence in the candidates and believes the process is nearing its end.
“We’ve got a good pool this time,” said Menne. “I was pleased with the pool that we got and the fact that we’re bringing the two in for a public meeting, I’m hopeful that we can come to a good decision and have good candidate that’s ready to serve the people.”.
Henderson’s search for a new chief began in August when former Police Chief Karl Haugen resigned from his position after serving two years in Henderson and nine in Le Sueur. Haugen did not go into the details surrounding his resignation in August, but wrote that the decision was was for the best.
“I appreciate the community coming together in my defense, but the decision to resign was best for me and my family at this time,” said Haugen. “I encourage all Hendersonites to continue to support the Henderson Police Department, as well as City Council members, and to be patient during this transition. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
Since that time, the city has been assisted in its policing by the Sibley County Sheriff’s Office and Le Sueur Police Chief Bruce Kelly. Kelly is currently managing the the Henderson Police Department from an administrative standpoint, keeping the department staffed and taking questions from the public about police activities.