By Jim Hayden
Fennville is again searching for a new police chief after the city’s choice withdrew to stay in his current position in South Carolina.
“So we’re back to square one,” Mayor Dan Rastall said at Monday’s city commission meeting. The city will start interviewing new candidates as soon as possible.
In January, the commission unanimously agreed to offer the position to Rudolph Johnson III of Charleston, S.C. A committee interviewed four candidates for the job that came open when Greg Rekucki announced his resignation effective Jan. 1.
Johnson had visited the Fennville area and was looking for housing. The city was waiting for final background checks and state certification and expected Johnson to start in April.
Johnson informed the mayor last week he was remaining in South Carolina with a better counteroffer from that department.
The chief is the only full-time officer on the Fennville department. Part-time officers are used as needed. State law requires the city have designated police coverage.
Even without a police chief, the city is not be devoid of law enforcement protection. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan State Police will respond to emergencies as in the past. The city has not had 24-hour, seven-day-a-week police coverage even when fully staffed. The county and state would respond to emergencies when no city officer was available.
Rekucki announced his resignation in November. No reason was given.
Fennville started its own police department in 2013. Before that, the city was covered by the sheriff’s department.
The first Chief Dan Hoffman retired in 2016 and was replaced by Mel Brummel. He retired in 2017 and was replaced by Rekucki.