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Blad nominates Schei as next Pocatello police chief

May 24, 2019

POCATELLO — Mayor Brian Blad on Thursday announced he has narrowed his list of candidates vying to become the next Pocatello Police Chief from three to one.

Pocatello spokesman Logan McDougall said in a Thursday news release that Blad has nominated Maj. Roger Schei to replace current Pocatello Police Chief Scott Marchand, who announced his June 17 retirement date in February.

“I am honored and humbled to be considered for the chief position,” Schei said. “I am excited to go in front of the council on June 6 for their consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to lead the great men and women of the Pocatello Police Department and to serve this community.”

The Pocatello City Council is scheduled to hold a confirmation vote on Schei’s appointment at its June 6 council meeting at City Hall. If the council votes to approve Blad’s recommendation, Schei will officially become chief on June 18.

As he positioned himself to become the next chief, Schei said one of his major goals was to foster strong relationships with the Pocatello community. Schei has served in law enforcement for nearly three decades, of which 25 years have been spent with the Pocatello Police Department.

“For me, the big thing is to understand our mission, which is community commitment,” he told the Journal in April. “I want to be a leader who is out there in the community. The police are the people and the people are the police and that is what our ‘why’ is.”

During his two-decade-plus tenure at the Pocatello Police Department, Schei has experience working in every division in different capacities, which has given him an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities for officers and leaders in law enforcement, he said in April. Schei also graduated from the the FBI National Academy Program in Quantico, Virginia, with honors in 2014.

In addition to extensive work with the FBI, Schei holds a bachelor’s degree from Herzing University in criminal justice and a management certificate through the Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training academy. He has a comprehensive background writing and developing policies, procedures, strategic plans, lesson plans and budgets.

During candidate forums held at City Hall earlier this month, Schei explained that his commitment to fostering relationships starts with a sense of respect and a partnership among the department and the citizens it protects.

“My vision is one of ownership,” Schei said during the forum. “When you see a member of the Pocatello Police Department walking down the street, you won’t just say, ‘Hey, that’s a member of the police department.’ You’ll say, ‘That’s my member of the police department.’”

In addition to Schei, the three finalists for the chief position also included Jim Peterson, a retired deputy chief of the Pocatello Police Department and Brian Underwood, a United States marshal with the Department of Justice.

Peterson was not immediately available for comment Thursday, but Underwood said he wishes Schei “all the best success as the next chief.”

Though Blad was out of town Thursday and could not comment on his nomination, he said in the Pocatello press release that the decision to pick Schei above the other two candidates was not an easy one.

“I am pleased to announce my nomination of Maj. Roger Schei for Pocatello Police Chief,” Blad said. “It was a difficult decision to make as we had three great candidates. However, I truly believe (Schei) is the individual who will lead the department in the right direction now and into the future.”

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