The City of Sterling, Kansas with a population of 2,515, encompasses an area of 1.83 square miles in Rice County. Sterling is nestled in the southern portion of Rice County with Lyons, the county seat to the north, Nickerson to the southeast and the City of Hutchinson 23 miles to the southeast. The Arkansas River, Cow Creek, and Bull Creek wind around as boundaries to the north and south of the town. With K-96 trucking trade line running through the city.
Sterling was initially named "Peace" out of respect for Mr. Ninde, a Quaker, who was the town's first land agent. In May of 1876 the proud people of Peace decided that they needed a more progressive name for the fast-growing city and the town was incorporated as a third-class city under the name of Sterling. Located on the mainline of the Santa Fe Railroad, the town grew rapidly and became the principal trading point for a wide area. Sterling served as a retail center, particularly for lumber, for the entire area to the southwest, including Sylvia and Stafford. Sterling gained national attention as the "Broomcorn Capital". It also contained a salt plant, flour milling industry, and a Farmer's Co-op Union that has expanded through the years and is now one of the largest in the state with its headquarters in Sterling.
Another important feature of Sterling is that of Sterling College a 4-year liberal arts college with about 600 students.
By Election of the people, the City of Sterling adopted the Commission-Manager form of government in 1924. The Commission-Manager plan is the system of local government that combines the strong political leadership of locally elected City Commissioners with the strong managerial experience of a local government manager. The plan establishes a representative system where all power is concentrated in the elected commission as a whole and where the commission hires a professionally trained manager to oversee the management of the City's operations and its delivery of public services, including policy decisions of the City Commission.
Sterling provides a variety of services including, police, water, sewer, electric, gas, and telecommunications/ Internet. The water, sewer, and electric are all municipally operated while the gas and telecommunications/Internet both have private providers. Through municipal operations Sterling is able to boast some of the lowest rates in the State, in Sewer they have recently invested $1.2 million to accommodate future growth, and in electric, Sterling is able to offer competitive rates and unbeatable service delivery. Police provides 24/7 protection and a community driven approach to Fire/EMS-Sterling is second to none when it comes to protecting life and property.
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Sterling Police Department is organized to provide effective, professional services to the community. The agency has 12 total employees, with 10 sworn (5 full-time and 5 part-time), and two auxiliary, volunteer Chaplains. The agency operates with three officers on set rotating shifts and one officer on a modified shift. Additionally, there is a Patrol Sergeant, who assists the Chief of Police in oversight of the department. The Department staffs a part-time position that handles the D.A.R.E. program with the Sterling School District as well as a full-time officer who serves as a Drug Recognition Expert and Rangemaster. Additionally, an individual patrol officer is assigned to handle code enforcement efforts for the city.
The Department places a strong emphasis on the development of its employees through training opportunities. 911 communication and dispatch services are provided by the Rice County Emergency Communication Center. The Sterling Police Department is a secure facility connected to city hall and Includes an attached garage that allows officers to process vehicles and other large items in a well-lit and partially climate-controlled environment. The space also provides a secure area to store and maintain department equipment and patrol supplies. The department provides animal control services to the community as well as well as a security contract with Sterling College.
The Sterling Police Chief must be willing to embrace and enhance a community policing model that has been established by the City of Sterling, that is not only sensitive to the benefits that this program has achieved, but embrace and grow the culture of the program for the benefit of the City of Sterling. Through high levels of community engagement, the Police Chief will be charged with advancing the organization to new levels of success.
The Sterling Police Department has spent decades developing demonstrated trust with our neighbors through the community policing model. The new Police Chief will be blessed with the opportunity to step into a community where Law Enforcement are beloved by the neighbors and supported by the City Commission. This is not true of all places, and is one of many attractive features.
A candidate for the position of Chief of Police:
- Prefer Associate's or Bachelor's Degree
- Must be a certified police officer.
- Have at least ten (10) years of service in law enforcement, including five (5) years in a supervisory position, and training which provides the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the job.
- Must be a proven leader, committed to the growth and development of the Department.
- Be an exceptional communicator, able to thoughtfully represent the interests of the Department and the City, with a high level of community engagement; be a self-starter and someone who is willing to listen to new ideas; be innovative and creative when addressing issues and solving problems.
- Be researching, aware of, and ready to implement legislative policy changes.
- Be a working Chief of Police with street experience, and accurately balance time spent in the field versus administrating. Must be willing to patrol, enforce traffic, and respond to criminal complaints.
- Be willing to complete non-traditional police functions and wear multiple hats which serve the collective interest of the Community. This includes contract obligations with Sterling College, Code Compliance Enforcement, and Animal Control assistance.
- Be proactive in addressing criminal activity while maintaining and enhancing community engagement.
- Initiate re-occurring traffic enforcement campaigns in conjunction with regular patrol
- Have excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to effectively communicate openly and with clarity with the city manager and community leaders, local organizations, media, city staff, and elected officials.
- Have experience in the development and implementation of a Department Plan; developing, articulating and carrying out Department goals and objectives; have a history of responsible budgeting and fiscal management; able to get the most out of the resources allocated to the Department.
- Be available for and make presentations to the community and have the appropriate balance of time spent internally and externally. This includes activities in USD 376 and Sterling College.
- Have a proven record and strong understanding of fiscal constraints in a municipal environment; as part of a city leadership team with common and shared needs, be able to develop, justify and present a Department budget.
- Have experience leading a team that emphasizes a collaborative approach to solving problems, shares leadership, and encourages creativity and innovation within the Police Department.
- Have and understanding and appreciation of the benefits of developing community partners to further the culture of a community policing model. Ability to engage the community and build relationships for Department members to work with the community as a whole; able to cultivate a thoughtful relationship with the media to support the interests of the department.
- Have extensive experience in and a reputation for dealing openly and fairly with employees; able to effectively carry out personnel initiatives in the interest of the Department and the City.
- Be able to effectively carry out the Department responsibility for personnel management, including recruitment, selection and promotion of Department personnel; value and create diversity of skill sets and demographics in the Department; create an inclusive environment. Have a record of success in managing a fair and consistent disciplinary process.
- Have the ability to formulate an effective means to evaluate, recognize and develop personnel; to provide succession planning and leadership development in the Department.
- Must value family team culture, prioritize employee wellness, and encourage training opportunities for personnel
- Be capable of evaluating the workload at all levels of staffing to make the best use of Department resources.
- Be a servant leader in the Department and the community, always acting with the utmost integrity and committed to serving the collective interest of the department, city, and neighbors of Sterling.
Applicants may find additional information regarding the City of Sterling Police Department and the Chief of Police position through the City of Sterling website https://www.sterling-kansas.com/. Additional Research information pertaining to this position may be found at https://www.sterling-kansas.com/187/Police-Department. Lastly, candidates can learn all about our wonderful community by perusing the Community Profile located HERE.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The salary range for the position is $50,000 to $70,000 with an excellent benefits package that rivals any peer community or organization. The City of Sterling provides Blue Cross Health Insurance, KPERS Retirement, ICMA-RC 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, life insurance, Free Gym Membership, Take Home Patrol Unit, and ample budget for trainings, conferences, and participation in professional associations. The greatest benefit in working for the City of Sterling is serving in an organization that values family time outside of the office.
HOW TO APPLY
Candidates need apply by Tuesday, June 1st.
The application can be found HERE or available by email request at email@example.com. The application and all relevant attachments are due by Tuesday, June 1st. If you are considering this job opportunity, start filling out the application well in advance of the deadline. Our care for our community can be seen in the thoroughness of the application. We take pride in our due diligence in identifying the best candidate to protect and lead in our community.
To be considered for this position, in one document please email (1) Cover Letter (2) Resume (3) and your full application with relevant attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: City of Sterling C/O Craig R. Crossette PO Box 287 Sterling, KS 67579 or deliver in person at City Hall 114 N. Broadway Sterling, KS 67579.
The City of Sterling is an Equal Opportunity Employer.