LISBON - Longtime village police Chief John "Buck" Higgins is retiring at the end of the year, and Mayor Dan Bing said the search for a replacement will not be limited to members of the department only.
"My intention is to open it to anyone to make sure all the bases are covered," Bing said during Monday's Village Council meeting after reading Higgins' retirement letter.
Higgins, who has more than 30 years in law enforcement, intends to use up his remaining vacation time from Oct. 5 through Dec. 31, his last official day on the job
Village Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner said Higgins will still be owed for 240 hours of unused vacation time - the maximum a village employee can collect upon retirement - because he had accumulated a significant amount of unused vacation time. In addition, Higgins will also be owed for 200 hours of unused sick time.
Wonner estimated the cost to the village will be $10,100, and she said there should be enough unappropriated money in the village budget to pay Higgins, who recently returned to work after being off for about two months due to shoulder surgery.
Councilman Joe Morenz wondered if they were required to consider outside applicants for the job, and Bing advised him the mayor has sole responsibility for filling the chief's position.
There was also some discussion on whether the next chief would have to live in Lisbon Higgins does not -and officer Mike Abraham, who attended the meeting, said there is a law on the books requiring a new chief to move into town with a year of being hired, but council can also waive the requirement.
Bing said he will confer with Higgins before deciding who to name as interim police chief until a permanent replacement is chosen.
"We'll make sure we get the right person in the office to continue the good standard of service," he said.