The Caldwell city council voted 4-2 against Mayor Jarom Wagoner’s pick for a new police chief.
Wagoner had chosen Jason Kuzik from Nevada to fill the chief’s position after the recent retirement of Frank Wyant. Kuzik is a Captain with the Henderson Police Department.
Kuzik is quoted in a city press release from last week saying,
I found Caldwell to have similarities to Henderson with a focus on community, family, and public safety. Before this exciting opportunity came about my wife, Sandy, and I already decided that Caldwell would be our home after my eventual retirement from the Henderson Police Department in a few years. Though there have been some recent challenges within CPD, I believe the department is strong, resilient, and very capable.
One of the other top three candidates was from California, and early on, another candidate from Nampa was considered a leading candidate.
In the city’s press release, the city said about Kuzik,
Mr. Kuzik has 25 years of experience in law enforcement and currently serves as a Police Captain at Henderson Police Department in Nevada. He is a strong advocate of community policing, accountability at all levels, procedural justice, mentorship, officer wellness, community engagement, progressive ideas, victim assistance, and continual development. Mr. Kuzik started at Henderson Police Department when the population was 175,000 and has been part of the growth that currently sits at 325,000 in population. He knows firsthand how to navigate the challenges that come with a growing and vibrant community.
Some of the concerns from council members, though, indicated concerns over the pick coming too quickly or that Kuzik was close to retirement in Nevada and would he stay long if he got the job?
Caldwell City Councilmember Chris Allgood was one of two members to vote for Kuzik. Allgood, who recently won the Republican nomination for state representative in District 11, said he felt Kuzik would do a good job for the city.
Councilmember Brad Doty was the only other member to vote for Kuzik. Chuck Stadick, Diana Register, Geoff Williams, and John McGee voted against Kuzik’s nomination.
The decision against the new chief comes at a time when the F.B.I. is continuing its investigation into several police officers.
The police department is not just missing a chief. Captain Devin Riley has also recently left the department.
Another leadership position was vacated from the police department recently after Lt. Joey Hoadley was served termination papers. Hoadley is the first officer officially charged by the federal government from the nearly two-year investigation.
The mayor and council will begin the process again to find a candidate for Caldwell’s new police chief.
Tags: Brad Doty, Caldwell Police Department, Chris Allgood, Chuck Stadick, Diana Register, Geoff Williams, Jarom Wagoner, Jason Kuzik, John McGee