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The city group in charge of picking La Crosse’s next police chief started the process of reviewing candidates Thursday after receiving 12 applications.

The Police and Fire Commission plans to look over the applicants over the next week and meet again Wednesday to decide who to bring in for interviews. After Thursday’s meeting, Commissioner Doug Happel said he couldn’t say anything about the candidates, but the process has been smooth so far.

“If it goes smoothly enough we should be able to start to make some determinations as to who to bring back for initial interviews,” Happel said. “How many, I can’t tell you for sure, because we don’t know.”

Happel Doug

Happel

Happel said the process should take another couple months.

The commission will prioritize safety and community and neighborhood policing as it considers applicants, he said.

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While the candidates are as yet unknown, there is one person who won’t be considered.

Interim Police Chief Rob Abraham announced on Twitter earlier this week that he declined to apply for the top job, citing personal and professional reasons.

“I will not be applying for La Crosse police chief for both professional and personal reasons. It’s been 26 years since an internal candidate has served as La Crosse police chief. There are qualified and deserving internal candidates. I fully support my colleagues!” Abraham tweeted.

The city is searching for a new chief after Ron Tischer left the department July 24 to take a position in Arizona.

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Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter, @Jourdan_LCT.

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City government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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