Brainerd: Political climate, transparency drive use of consultant to hire new police chief

The city of Brainerd will contract with David Drown Associates to find its next police chief.

Police Chief Corky McQuiston announced his November retirement to the city council in late August. He has worked with the Brainerd Police Department for 24 years.

Human Resources Director Kris Schubert told the council’s personnel and finance committee Monday, Sept. 21, of the several reasons behind the decision to use David Drown.

Schubert said she spoke with Cloquet officials, who recently used a consultant to hire a new police chief.

“They mentioned that they specifically decided to hire a consultant for the police chief position specifically because of the amount of public attention that this position gets and for transparency purposes,” Schubert said.


In talking with McQuiston and City Administrator Jennifer Bergman, Schubert said they decided using a consultant would be preferred due to the current political climate and societal unrest in general regarding police departments.

Council member Dave Pritschet said he has been happy with the process David Drown has used in the past and with the candidates they produced. Most recently, the city used David Drown to hire Bergman as city administrator and then Eric Charpentier to replace her as director of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

The total cost to work with David Drown is $19,000. Sourcewell will pay $7,500, and after subtracting about $2,000 in advertising costs, the city’s portion would be about $9,500. The funds will come from the police department’s professional services account, which has about $20,000 left in it because staff members were unable to attend off-site training due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schubert said the city’s civil service commission approved the proposal, contingent on the council approval. The city council gave unanimous approval.

David Drown estimates having a new police chief in place by the end of January. Though McQuiston was set to retire Nov. 28, he has offered to extend that date to help fill the gap until a new chief is hired.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa.