Sunnyside City Manager Don Day was unable to make a decision on hiring a new police chief by his self-imposed deadline of Sept. 30, citing extra time needed to conduct deep background checks on the three candidates.
Those candidates include current Sunnyside Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck, former Bainbridge Island Police Commander Sue Shultz and former Monte Vista, Colo. Chief of Police Rick Needham.
Day said yesterday that all options, including starting the search over, are still on the table. He promised that he would find the best candidate possible for the city.
Speaking to the Noon Rotary Club yesterday as part of an impromptu introduction, Day described himself as painfully truthful. He said that quality has not always served him well in politics or as a state police officer.
Day also described the day he was shot three times. He said the man who shot him fired 13 times, Day fired five times. Day survived, the man who shot him did not. He also said that his first instinct when his opponent in the gunfight went down was to try to save the man’s life.
“A police officer has to be able to make that instant change from enforcer to protector,” he said. “While looking for a chief I also expect that quality.”
Day is taking a vacation this week that was planned for and approved before he was hired by Sunnyside. When he returns, he will be working through the information he has received regarding the police chief candidate’s backgrounds.
He does not have a timeline on when the decision will be made.