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Search for police chief progressing

By BECKY CRISSMAN

becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

CORDELE — July 31 will mark a year since the retirement of former police chief Bobby Hooper set the city out on a journey to find a new chief to lead the Cordele Police Department. Since that time Col. Lewis Green has served as interim until the position is filled.

Though it has been a long road travelled, David Wade, Director of Human Resources for the City of Cordele said the journey is winding down. The pool has been narrowed down to 12 applicants.

“We have some applicants that are in house and others from outside the community,” said Wade. “We have processed all applications and consent forms for background checks and POST certifications.”

Wade said they are just getting back information from the previous employers of the applicants and are following up with phone interviews. Currently, Wade and City Manager Edward Beach and Wade’s assistant Joyce Neumans are working on the search. Wade said having interviewed in-house applicants they are now looking to set up interviews for out of house applicants.

Each applicant, both in and out of house, will sit before a review board for their initial interview. Those that make the cut will move on to an executive interview with Beach. Once the executive interviews are complete the pool will be narrowed further and the applicants will be evaluated and the city manager will make the final decision.

“The commission does not actually approve the candidate,” said Wade. “The city manager does present the final decision to the commission.”

According to Wade there are several candidates in the running that are really standing out at this point.

“They look really good,” he said. “These are some of the best we have had in a while. I know it has been a long road. We appreciate the patience of the citizens. We want the community to know that the search for a new police chief has been very thorough because we want to make sure we hire the best fit for our community. This person will be responsible for leading our police force and protecting and serving our citizens.”