Sheriff has plenty of applicants for Hartington job

HARTINGTON — About 40 people have submitted applications for two new deputy positions at the Cedar County Sheriff’s Department.

The application process was opened Sept. 11 after a contract for law enforcement was signed between the city of Hartington  and the Sheriff’s Department.

The contract is an agreement between the city and county that will provide 24-7 law enforcement protection for the community.

Over the past several months, the Sheriff’s Department has aided the city by offering their services while Hartington has been without a police officer after Police Chief Casey Nieman’s dismissal.

Although this has worked, City Council members expressed at the Sept. 24 meeting they would like a full-time law enforcement officer in Hartington.

“We wanted to have police officers that can offer us the full protection we would like,” said Councilman Gary Kruse, referring to having a deputy to do patrolling and other police-related duties.

Now, Cedar County Sheriff Larry Koranda is in the process of hiring two new deputies exclusively for Hartington.

Of the 40 applicants, six have been interviewed, Koranda said. Some of those applicants have been local. Koranda said he wants to start the new deputies soon.

“I am going to try to get them on board in the next week or two,” Koranda said.

If an applicant is hired who is currently not certified, that person will have to complete a 14-week program at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island starting in January, Koranda said.

Whoever is hired for the positions, will begin serving the county with ride-along training with another deputy, the Sheriff said.

The Center is a challenging combination of classroom and hands-on skills training, according to the Training Center website. This course is designed to allow the successful graduate to assume entry-level law enforcement duties.

Koranda said the applicants have various levels of backgrounds. Some have a criminal justice degree while others are fully certified in other states. But even if the person is certified in another state, they will still have to be recertified in Nebraska.

“Over half the applicants have some kind of criminal justice background,” Koranda said. “There are several who are certified in other states.”

Koranda said he plans on dedicating two deputies to Hartington.