The Anoka-Champlin Fire Department has hired former Plymouth Fire Chief Richard Kline as interim chief while the Fire Board seeks a new round of applicants for the position of full-time chief.
Since longtime Chief Charlie Thompson left to take the top job at the Columbia Heights Fire Department last summer, Anoka-Champlin has struggled to find the right candidate to replace him, despite interviewing two rounds of applicants. The situation has caused consternation among firefighters and the Anoka City Council, which has requested a joint meeting with the Champlin City Council Aug. 20.
Kline, who started the interim position July 13, retired as Plymouth’s fire chief in late 2015 after 23 years of service to the city. Before that, he spent 16 years in the fire service in Pennsylvania.
The Fire Board selected Kline’s proposal from among those submitted by five applicants.