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Council appoints Welle interim police chief; search for permanent chief continues

Morris City Attorney Aaron Jordan administers the oath of office to interim police chief Reggie Welle during the Jan. 22 Morris City Council meeting. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

Reggie Welle will serve as the interim police chief for Morris until a new chief is hired.

Welle was approved as interim police chief during the Jan. 22 Morris City Council meeting.

In a memo to the council, Hill said Welle is the logical choice for interim police chief because he has been doing several of the administrative duties with regards to the department to make sure the department meets state requirements.

Hill told the council that after the recent unsuccessful attempt to hire a new police chief, he and city attorney Aaron Jordan discussed the need for an interim chief.

The city will advertise for a new police chief until Feb. 22. It could be some time in March before a new chief is hired, Hill said.

In the meantime, Welle will handle some of the chief's duties. Hill said the city's new police sergeant, Dimitri Ikonitski, works well with Welle. Although Ikonitski was a finalist for the police chief's position, Hill and the city's civil service commission believe it is better for the department for Ikonitski to serve as sergeant.

The department has not had a sergeant for several years.

Hill and the city's civil service commission interviewed three finalists for police chief. Hill told the Stevens County Times that the leading candidate withdrew from consideration earlier this month.

Hill's Jan. 18 city manager's report said candidates who were interviewed in the first attempt to hire a police chief will not be interviewed in the new round. The first round drew three internal candidates and one was interviewed, Hill said in the memo. The other two internal candidates will be interviewed in the new round, Hill said in his report.