BEATRICE – Beatrice will have a new police chief, come June. The appointment of John Hickman, current Chief of the Glendive, Montana Police Department, was approved by the Beatrice City Council, Monday night.

Hickman will take over leadership of the department in early June when Chief Bruce Lang retires after three decades of leading the department. Lang’s final day will be June 3rd. City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says Hickman will arrive in the community in May.

"He was also a police officer back in North Carolina previous to his experience out in Montana. He has a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice...a Masters Degree in Public Administration...he also has experience running a 911 communications center."

City Council President Mike McLain said Hickman was impressive in the interview process, after some 15 candidates for the post were narrowed to three finalists.
"I got to sit in on that last interview....a very impressive young individual...I believe he's about 40 years old...he took some hard questions and did a very good job....very impressive."

Hickman’s annual salary will start at $86,000. His appointment was approved on a 8-0 city council vote.