WAITE PARK (WJON News) -- Waite Park officials have narrowed down their list of candidates to become the city's next police chief.

City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says they had 11 people apply for the position, and narrowed that list to four very qualified candidates who will go through the final round of interviews later this week.

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The list of finalists include:

George Vinson:
Vinson is currently a Captain on the Fargo Police Department in the Criminal Investigations Division and a Council Member for the City of Harwood. He has been in law enforcement since 2004 in a variety of positions within the City of Fargo including Captain of the Professional Standards Division, Lieutenant of Professional Accountability, Community Engagement Team Leader, Field Services Lieutenant, School Resources Sergeant, Police Sergeant, Assistant Emergency Prep Coordinator, Detective, Canine Unit, and Police Officer.

Tony Padilla
Padilla is currently a Police Chief / Emergency Manager for the City of Glencoe and a Council Member for the City of Gaylord. He has been in law enforcement since 2005 including positions as Chief of Police/ Emergency Manager for Gaylord, Steele County/McLeod County/Arlington Police Department-K9 Handler and Defensive Tactics Instructor. He also served as an Instructor for the Center for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement. Prior to his time in law enforcement, he served in the United States Army for 20+ years holding every enlisted rank the Army has.

Anthony Reznicek
Reznicek is currently a Police Sergeant for the City of Waite Park and has over 18 years of police experience. He was a Police Officer in East Grand Forks for 8 years and had opportunities to be acting shift supervisor and field training officer. He has been with the City of Waite Park for the last ten years. During his time in Waite Park, he served 5 years as a School Resource Officer and Investigator. Anthony is currently a Police Sergeant and has been in this position for three years. Prior to his time in law enforcement, he served in the United States Army National Guard for 10 years. He ended his time with the National Guard as a Sergeant with two combat tours.

Kurt Schoening
Schoening is currently a Patrol Sergeant for Carver County Sheriff’s Department and has been in this position since 2018. In his position as a Patrol Sergeant with Carver County, Kurt has been assigned to working for the cities of Chanhassen, Waconia, and Watertown. He has been in law enforcement since 2011 holding positions including Patrol Corporal and Patrol Deputy within Carver County Sheriff’s Department. Before his time with Carver County, Kurt worked for Stark County Sheriff’s Department in Dickinson, ND as a Patrol Deputy. He is part of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. He has also been a lead instructor for the Sheriff’s Department in both use of force and firearms.

The city plans to hold the interviews with the four finalists on Thursday morning.

A Community Police Meet and Greet with the candidates will be held that evening from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at city hall. The public is welcome to attend this event.

Following the meet and greet, Johnson says the city council will meet after to determine the next steps. The council could consider a conditional job offer to one of the candidates as early as the April 17th city council meeting.


Current Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud announced he will be retiring at the end of May after 30 years in law enforcement. He's been Police Chief in Waite Park for the last 13 years.





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