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Ellis interviewing 6 for police chief





ELLIS -- The field of candidates has been whittled down to six.

Ellis Mayor David McDaniel said Friday six candidates will come in for interviews for the vacant chief of police position. The position has been open since July, when Randy Taylor resigned to become chief of police at Clarkdale, Ariz. There was an initial field of 33 candidates, and the final half-dozen are undergoing background checks before being interviewed.

"All are very good," McDaniel said of the finalists.

Of the six finalists, McDaniel said two were from within the department, three were from out-of-state and one was from in-state. He said the hiring committee wasn't looking for any one thing in particular in finding a new chief.

"We just need someone that is in tune with a smaller department, like we have, smaller city size; that can work with the people, and still get the job done of law enforcement," said McDaniel, adding he would like to get a new chief hired by the end of the month.

Ellis also is looking for a new fire chief, after Les Weber announced his retirement last month. McDaniel said it's early in the hiring process to fill that position. Assistant Chief Denis Vine is in charge until a replacement is hired.

"The council advised (Tuesday) night that they want to formulate a job description for the chief, which we've never had before," McDaniel said. "The assistant chief is in charge as we go, so everything there's not a problem with that."