Police major is  finalist for Kansas chief position

David Teuscher

Maj. David Teuscher has been in the Norman Police Department almost 22 years, and while he has gone from a shift worker up to support bureau commander, he has always aspired to be a chief or deputy chief.

Now, he is one of six finalists for chief of police in Olathe, Kansas.

Teuscher said he has been watching for chief or deputy chief job openings that would help him achieve his career goal. Norman's position hasn't been posted yet, so he decided to apply for the Kansas position.

"It's the right time for a career move. It's too great an opportunity to pass up," he said.

Teuscher said he has no family or friends in Kansas but have some friends nearby in Missouri. Because of this, the potential move has caused mixed emotions for his family, which includes his wife and three kids, ages 6, 12 and 16. His wife currently works in Attorney General Mike Hunter's office.

"It's fear of the unknown. There will be some tears, no doubt," he said, because so many friends and family are in Oklahoma. However, "they are very excited for me."

Teuscher said Olathe is similar to Norman. It has about 145,000 people, 62.4 square miles and crime rate that is similar to Norman's. The police department has 215 employees --186 of them commissioned. The police there also run animal welfare.

One difference, he said, is the 911 call center is only run by the sheriff's office.

He said the interview process has been in depth and started with submitted general applications. Twelve applicants made the semifinal cut and took questionnaires and did video interviews. From that set, six were chosen for the next stage, which includes a background check, a leadership survey and personality profile and face-to-face interviews, which are set in mid July.

"For a community that size, I wouldn't expect anything less," Teuscher said of the interview process. "I'm kind of excited to talk to them in person."

Teuscher said his fellow employees have provided moral support and weren't shocked when they heard he had applied for the Olathe police chief position. He has received messages of encouragement and support since the news broke.

Maj. Ricky Jackson, Norman operations commander, said he worked directly with Teuscher when both of them were detectives for a couple years. During that time, he said Teuscher impressed him being a good investigator.

Jackson, who has been with the department for 34 years, said Teuscher is a high-growth-needs individual and the job opportunity is good for him.

"I hope he reaches his goals. We support all of our employees here," he said.

If he gets the position, Teuscher said he will miss the people, high professionalism in Norman and the community the most.

"It's part of my family," he said of the community. "There are a lot of champions who have supported me."

"He will be missed," Jackson said. "We encourage everyone to be successful in whatever they endeavor to do."

Teuscher said if this job opportunity falls through, he plans on applying for Norman's police chief post.