Plattsmouth Mayor Paul Lambert said a committee interviewed Rathman along with three other candidates. The committee was comprised of Lambert, Councilwoman Ruth Wassinger, Councilman Terry Kerns, Officer Jonathan Hardy and City Administrator Erv Portis. “We interviewed three candidates on Friday and one on Saturday,” Lambert said.
Initially, five submitted applications for the police chief position, but one withdrew his name.
“I’d like to thank the Civic Service Commission for giving me five candidates to choose from, and they were all excellent candidates. After viewing the four candidates, it was a unanimous decision that Mr. Rathman was our choice,” the mayor said. “I’m very impressed with him. “He is an outstanding person.”
Rathman currently serves as a sergeant with the Grand Island Police Department. He was also on the Hall County Sheriff Department in his early law enforcement career.
He said he has always been drawn to a career in law enforcement. “I just have a passion for helping people,” he said. “I’m very community driven. I like being involved in making my community better. It’s my way of giving back to the community.”
Rathman graduated in 1987 from Grand Island High School. He and his wife, Ann, have three children.
Rathman earned a Master of Arts in Management from Doane College in May 2008.
He graduated March 2004 from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., in the 216th session. He completed the basic training course at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center in 1993 and then earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1992.
Starting with the Grand Island Police Department in 1996, he was promoted from police officer to sergeant in two years. Rathman was assigned the training coordinator position in December 2003.
From 1992 to 1996, he worked with the Hall County Sheriff’s Department in Grand Island as Deputy Sheriff.
Rathman said taking the Plattsmouth Police Chief’s job is a natural progression in his career.
“A few years ago I obtained my Master’s Degree and decided I wanted to be chief,” he said. “As my education increased, I made the decision that it’s time. I talked to the current (Grand Island) Chief of Police. He encouraged me the entire way. It’s the next logical step in my career to be chief of police.”
When the position at Plattsmouth came open, Rathman and his wife came to Plattsmouth to look over the town.
“We wanted to find a community that is a good fit for our family,” he said. “My wife and I came to Plattsmouth and it had a home feeling.”
Once relocated in Plattsmouth, Rathman said he plans on helping out in the community wherever he can.
In his spare time, Rathman said he coaches his son’s baseball and football team.
“I’m also an avid exerciser,” he said. “I exercise five days a week. That’s a nice stress relief. I’m a devout family man. Ninety-percent of my nonworking time is spent with my family,” he said.
Rathman said he and his family are looking forward to making their home in Plattsmouth.
“We didn’t take this move lightly,” he said. “The school system, the quality of life and the history of Plattsmouth: everything we saw we really liked.”
The committee will recommend Rathman’s approval at the city council’s Sept. 7 meeting.
Category: The New Chief