August 11, 2011 by wcobserver
By Susan McCarthy
GREENLAND – A new police officer hit Greenland streets on Monday and will serve as the Greenland School District’s Resource Officer after being confirmed by Greenland’s City Council in a special meeting held July 26.
Police Chief Gary Ricker said Hunter Carnahan was selected from 20-25 applicants and is the department’s first officer hired in almost 10 years.
“Experience and enthusiasm; he came across really well,” Ricker said when asked what made Carnahan the search committee’s choice.
Carnahan will serve primarily as the School Resource Officer for the Greenland School District and will also serve as the department’s juvenile officer and “work the street a fair amount,” said Ricker.
His $28,500 salary and benefits will be split by the City of Greenland and the Greenland School District. His start date was Aug. 1.
Ricker said he wanted to hire a certified police officer. He said a selection committee of three – that included himself, Greenland School Superintendent Dr. Charles Cudney and Council Member Stephanie Sharp – interviewed six candidates. All of the candidates were certified officers said Ricker. Sharp also serves on the city’s personnel committee.
Ricker said a school resource officer has to be a unique individual, a combination of police officer and counselor. He said that while Carnahan has not served previously as a school resource officer, he said he has good people skills and has developed and conducted training for police officers previously.
Carnahan grew up in Prairie Grove and most recently served on the Fayetteville Police Department for nearly eight years as a police officer and first-class patrolman, which included bike patrol on Dickson Street. He became a certified police officer in 1998.
“He was very good at talking and diffusing situations,” said Ricker, which he believes will aid Carnahan on a school campus.
The first week in August will be a big one for Carnahan. Not only is he beginning his new job, but will also get married on Aug. 5.
“I’m looking forward to working for a community that wants to grow … you start with the kids,” said Carnahan.
“We have high hopes for him and think he’s going to work out well for us,” said Ricker.