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Major Roger Schei likely to be approved as new Police Chief by City Council

It was announced Thursday there’s a new chief in town in Pocatello.

It was a three-man race to replace the chief, with US Marshal Brian Underwood, former Deputy Chief Jim Peterson and current Deputy Chief Roger Schei all vying for the position.

While not officially the chief yet, Deputy Chief Roger Schei has been nominated by Mayor Brian Blad as the successor to current Chief Scott Marchand.

Schei is now in line to take over for Marchand, who is retiring in June, but he first needs the City Council’s approval.

“On the sixth of June, the mayor makes the presentation of who he wants to be the chief and we vote to sustain or not to sustain on his part,” Councilmember Jim Johnston explained.

It’s a simple process, according to Johnston.

“The mayor has the choice, we have the option to rescind his action, but I don’t think we will.”

All three candidates were very familiar with both the mayor and city council, with all three serving with the Pocatello police at one time or another. But with the finalists now narrowed down from three to one, Johnston believes Schei is a lock.

“I think the decision has pretty well been made because we know these candidates,” he said.

Now the only thing standing between Schei and the position is the city council’s vote, two weeks from Thursday.

Officials in the city couldn’t remember a recent case of a mayor appointing a chief and having the city council veto it, and Johnston said there’s no reason to believe it’ll happen this time.

“I’ve heard nothing that would go to the contrary.”

Should all six City Council members be present for the June 6 vote, four will need to give Schei their approval for him to pass through.

Current Chief Scott Marchand was approved unanimously by the council in 2012.

Should things go Schei’s way, the deputy chief position, which he’s held since Jim Peterson’s retirement less than a year ago, will once again be vacant, and he’ll likely be the one to choose his successor.

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