By BRIAN BOHNERT
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
More than a dozen hopefuls will be interviewed this weekend for a potential spot on the Fostoria Police Division roster.
Fourteen candidates, all vying for three vacant police officer positions, participated in a physical agility test last weekend at Fostoria Intermediate Elementary School.
All but one candidate passed the test and will advance to an oral interview conducted by the Fostoria Civil Service Commission at 8:30 a.m. Saturday inside the Municipal Building.
“I was excited to see us have the turnout that we did,” Police Chief Keith Loreno said of last weekend’s physical agility test. “There are other communities having less and some of the bigger communities are not having many more than we had. I’d say we did pretty good.”
One woman was among the candidates who passed the physical agility test — a feat Civil Service Commission Chair Linda Cohen said hasn’t been accomplished in many years.
Two separate eligibility lists were compiled for prospective police officers — the standard list for entry-level recruits and one list for seasoned officers who want to make a lateral transfer from their current department to Fostoria.
Any new hires made off the eligibility lists would be replacements for Jonathan Bryant, Trey Farabee and Nate Elliott who left FPD within the last two years to take jobs elsewhere.
As long as all the applicants clear their background checks, Cohen said every candidate who passed the physical agility exam will most likely end up on the final eligibility lists.
Fostoria Fire Division is also in the process of finding candidates to fill at least two firefighter vacancies on the department roster.
Safety Service Director Deb Hellman told the Review Times on Thursday the civil service commission is in the process of advertising for eligible firefighter candidates.
Oregon, Ohio-native Jake Baker was sworn in Thursday as FFD’s newest firefighter. His hiring still leaves two vacancies on the department roster.
During Thursday’s civil service commission meeting, Cohen said she is working with two different institutions to schedule a Firefighter Mile Physical Ability Test sometime in January.
In other business, Hellman said the six-person committee tasked with selecting Fostoria’s next fire chief will meet Dec. 22 to discuss the next steps in the process and “make sure everyone is on the same page.”
The committee consists of Hellman, Mayor Eric Keckler, civil service commission member Steve Moes, Assistant Law Director Barbara Dibble, Leonard Skonecki, and 2nd Ward City Councilman Greg Flores.
Hellman said there is currently no timetable on when a new fire chief will assume the position.
Nine people have submitted applications to be the city’s next fire chief, including interim Fire Chief Brian Herbert, a 24-year veteran of the department.
The next meeting of Fostoria Civil Service Commission will be at 3 p.m. Jan. 24 in the Conference Room on the second floor of the Municipal Building.