2 local candidates among METCAD director finalists

CHAMPAIGN – Two local candidates are among the four final applicants for the post of director for the Metropolitan Computer-aided Dispatch service.

METCAD provides police, fire and emergency services dispatching for most of Champaign County except the Rantoul area. Rick Kallmayer, who formerly worked at the University of Illinois Police Department, retired in late June after serving as METCAD director for about five years.

Champaign City Manager Steve Carter said he hopes to make an offer and hire a director in October.

The final four candidates are:

– Holly A. Nearing, deputy chief for Champaign police since 2007 and with the police department in various capacities since 1982.

– Eric R. Mitchell, deputy fire chief for Champaign since 1989 and president of the Sidney Fire District.

– Ralph A Caldwell Jr., Springfield police chief since 2007 and director of that city's Office of Homeland Security since 2004.

– Becky Jungmann, director of emergency communications, the 911 agency for Springfield-Green County in Springfield, Mo., since 2001.

METCAD policy board members, including representatives of Champaign, Urbana, Champaign County and rural police and fire departments, and Champaign city council members will interview the final candidates Thursday and Friday, according to Carter.

Since Champaign is the lead agency for METCAD, the director's post is by appointment of the city manager, as for all department heads, Carter said. As with other department heads, input from city council members is considered in making the appointment, he said.

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