Centralia Fireside Guard

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Posted on Friday, July 20, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Centralia mayor Tim Grenke announced today, July 20, the city of Centralia has made a verbal offer to Bob Bias to be the new chief of the Centralia Police Department.

Bias, currently chief of the Hallsville Police Department, told the Fireside Guard he has accepted and said: “I am excited and proud to be returning home to Centralia.”

Bias, a former lieutenant with the CPD, will take over as chief, will start September 4.

He was one of three finalists, interviewed by Centralia’s aldermen the evening of July 19 in Centralia City Hall.

The others were chief Jerry Fenton and Sgt. TJ Stephenson, both of the Shelbina Police Department.

The Fireside Guard sat in on the interviews:

Bob Bias has been offered the job of Centralia police chief.

Bob Bias has been offered the job of Centralia police chief.

One question put to the three candidates was: “What motivates you?”

Bias, who started as a part-time officer with the CPD in 2005 after eight years working as an airport security officer for the Columbia regional airport responded: “Doing the job, completing the job, if you can help someone along the way, that’s a good thing. It’s just like golfing. The fact is there’s that one person that you can help, and Make a difference. Just like golfing, when you make a good shot, it makes the game worthwhile. In police work, when you help that one person and make a difference, the satisfaction of walking away at the end of the day, with a smile on your face, knowing for made a difference that day makes it all worth-while.

He also explained his goals for the CPD: “The Centralia Police Department is in a pretty good spot… We’ve done a lot of good over the last several years. We have to continue to pull bad guys into the back door, making this a safe community for everyone that lives here. The goal is to be the best small-town police department in the 114 counties of the state of Missouri. I’m going to try. The fact is, there’s a good crew over in that building. There is not a one that I haven’t worked with one way or another. Those guys, all they need is leadership and structure, and I can provide that.”

City Administrator Heather Russell said she was pleased to be working with Bias again.

“I worked with Bob for many years and we will work well together today and in the future. We had a strong selection of candidates and the aldermen did not have an easy choice.”

For more, please see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.