City lists four finalists for police chief post




Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article wrongly stated that outgoing Police Chief Mark McBride is part of the hiring committee. McBride is not among those choosing his successor. The mayor will appoint the chief and the City Council will either confirm or reject that appointment.

The city of Idaho Falls has narrowed down the pool of candidates to replace retiring Police Chief Mark McBride to four finalists.

The candidates, culled from a pool of 35 applicants, are Mark Francisco, chief financial officer of the Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department; Idaho Falls Police Lt. William Squires; Houston Independent School District Police Chief Robert Mock and Juneau Alaska Police Chief Bryce Johnson.

Squires has spent more than two decades at the department.

Francisco has kept a low profile, his name only showing up in a Board of Police Commissioners minutes noting he was promoted from captain to major in May 2015.

Mock has been police chief for the Houston Independent School District since 2014. He owns the title of chief in the only accredited public school district police department in the U.S., said a district bio. The bio said he is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement. The district’s police are reported to respond to more than 81,000 calls per year covering a 300-square mile area in Houston.

Johnson has been Juneau’s police chief since June 2013 and went to school at the University of Utah. He earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Brigham Young University in Provo and began his law enforcement career at the Salt Lake City Police Department prior to moving to Juneau. Johnson also spent time as an intelligence specialist for the U.S. Naval Reserve and teaching criminal justice to high schoolers at the Salt Lake City School District, according to a Juneau Empire article.

Multiple city personnel, a Citizen Review Committee member and an outside law enforcement official were tasked with interviewing eight candidates last week. The four finalists were selected to move on to the next hiring phase, which includes another interview, and culminates with the mayor appointing a chief and the City Council confirming or rejecting that appointment.

The position offers a salary range of $100,355 to $150,534.

McBride was sworn in as chief in February 2013 and has been with the department 37 years. Before joining the force he spent six years in the U.S. Air Force police. His 2016 salary was $108,784, the ninth highest in the city.

The hiring process comes before an expected busy summer that could see the city and the region swell from visiting tourists. Some of the larger draws include the July 4 Melaleuca Freedom Celebration, the 2017 Extreme Blue Thunder Air Show scheduled July 22-23 and the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, with a predicted 500,000 people visiting eastern Idaho.

When McBride was hired he was one of four finalists in a field of 54 applicants from across the country.

Reporter Tom Holm can be reached at 543-6746