Kalispell Picks Two Police Chief Finalists

Public will have a chance to meet the two finalists on Jan. 14

By Justin Franz
Kalispell City Hall. Beacon file photo

More than a year after former Kalispell Police Chief Roger Nasset announced he was retiring, the community will have a chance to meet the two men vying for the job as the city’s top lawman.

Kalispell Police Captain Doug Overman and Frisco, Texas Chief of Police John Wesley Bruce are the two finalists for the job, emerging from 58 applicants. Both men will be present at a public open house at City Hall on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.

“We are excited to have these two candidates participating in the final interview stage in January, and are encouraged by their respective experience, competencies, and abilities,” said City Manager Doug Russell. “As this is an important position for the Kalispell community, we look forward to filling it with an individual committed to the department’s long-term success.”

Overman is no stranger to Kalispell. In the 1990s, he worked as wildland firefighter for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation before becoming a probation and parole officer. He joined the Kalispell Police Department in 2000, where he has held numerous titles, including school resource officer, detective, sergeant and captain.

Bruce has been in Texas law enforcement since the 1980s. He came to the Frisco Police Department in 1996, where he was a detective, captain and assistant chief of police before becoming chief of police in 2013. Frisco is a city of about 177,000 in northern Texas. The police department there has more than 300 employees.

After Nasset retired, Wade Rademacher became interim chief in December 2017. Rademacher retired in November and was replaced by Patrol Capt. Tim Falkner, a 20-year veteran of the force. Falkner said he had no interest in applying for the top job and will return to his previous duties once a new chief is hired.

The job was initially posted in January 2018, and by March nearly 40 people had applied. The job description asked applicants to have at least seven years of police experience, including five years as a sergeant or higher rank. The new chief will be paid between $83,926 and $107,432, depending on experience.

In June, city officials decided to put the search on hold, stating they needed more time to determine what types of qualities they wanted in a police chief. “This is an important position for the Kalispell community and is worth taking the additional time to identify the full scope of qualities and abilities to facilitate long-term success,” officials wrote in June.

Officials say that a new chief will be picked in the days following the Jan. 14 open house.