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Replacing police commander will take a bit of time

Filling Phil Schenck’s shoes won’t be a quick or simple process for the Sunnyside Police Department.

The police commander vacancy is being reviewed by human resources and the police chief now, but the process for filling the position must be determined by Sunnyside’s civil service commission, according to City Manager Don Day.

Schenck left Sunnyside earlier this month to take a job as police chief in Othello. Schenck had served in Sunnyside for nearly 25 years, including a stint as the city’s top officer while Sunnyside searched for a new chief.

Sunnyside Police Chief Al Escalera said he does not have a timeline for the process to be completed.

“I’d like to say sooner than later, but you know how that goes,” he said. “We need to go to the civil service commission and hammer out the testing process first, then the timeline will come from that.”

He said the city plans to advertise the position internally and outside the department simultaneously.

The civil service commission’s next regular meeting is the second Wednesday in September.

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