Moline to split fire, police chief jobs

Moline to split fire, police chief jobs

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MOLINE -- The city plans to again have separate leadership for its police and fire departments when Moline Police Chief and Public Safety Director Kim Hankins retires Friday.

On Nov. 10, 2011, Mr. Hankins -- the police chief for Moline -- was appointed interim public safety director for the city. In 2012, city leaders decided to have Mr. Hankins continue to lead both the police and fire departments.

In light of his retirement, Moline City Administrator Doug Maxeiner has appointed separate interim chiefs for the two departments. Capt. John Hitchcock will lead the police department, while Battalion Chief Jeff Snyder will be responsible for the fire department.

Both are expected to start Friday.

On Wednesday, Mr. Maxeiner said the city plans to hire a police chief and a fire chief instead of retaining the combined public safety director position. Mr. Hankins has done a nice job of splitting his time and effort between the two departments, Mr. Maxeiner said, but -- long term -- the fire and police departments probably would like to have their own leadership. He added that, for optimal performance, it probably is the way to go.

"I think each department deserves their own leadership, their own leadership structure," Mr. Maxeiner said. 

At Tuesday night's committee of the whole meeting, aldermen gave initial approval to paying GovHR USA, of Northbrook -- the same firm that found Mr. Maxeiner -- about $40,000 to conduct a search for Mr. Hankins' replacements. Final action on the GovHR USA contract is expected at next week's city council meeting.

If approved, both internal and external candidates will be considered -- similar to the search for city administrator, Mr. Maxeiner said. Mr. Hankins was being paid about $175,000 annually; the two chiefs could potentially make up to $150,000 each.

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