Candidates for police chief narrowed

Saturday, December 13, 2008 | 7:05 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Seven people remain on the list of candidates for Columbia's next police chief, Director of Human Resources Margrace Buckler said.

The list was narrowed down after the city's Police Chief Advisory Committee met Thursday to discuss potential candidates for the job.

Chief Randy Boehm retired in July after 31 years with the department, leaving the position vacant. Since then, Capt. Tom Dresner has been filling in as interim police chief.

The city hired Atlanta-based Slavin Management Consultants to help find people for the job. After a nationwide search, Slavin identified 72 applicants, Buckler said.

Fourteen of those names were brought before the advisory committee Thursday, at which time committee members cut the list in half. The seven remaining candidates will undergo an extensive background check, Buckler said.

The new police chief was originally supposed to be named by Jan. 1, but holiday-related scheduling conflicts pushed back the timeline.

After the holidays, four or five candidates will be chosen, based on the results of their background checks, to interview in Columbia. The interviews, which will take place Jan. 12 and 13, will consist of a formal meeting with the committee, a tour of the Police Department and Columbia, a public session and a press session for each candidate, Buckler said.

Buckler said she expects the names of the final candidates to be released around Jan. 5.

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