The search for a new Cleburne police chief has been narrowed to two, City Manager Rick Holden said Tuesday.
The two remaining candidates are Robert Severance of the Grand Prairie Police Department and Mike Holguin of the Arlington Police Department.
Neither are the chiefs of those departments, but both are in senior leadership positions with their departments, Holden said.
The new chief, once named, will replace former Chief Terry Powell who retired in August after 32 years of service with the Cleburne Police Department. Holden named CPD Deputy Chief Amy Knoll to serve as interim chief until a new chief is named.
About 36 applied for the job, Holden said, including Knoll and CPD Sgt. Bill Black.
Holden said Knoll has done an outstanding job as interim chief and will remain in that position until the new chief comes on board.
Holden said Knoll will continue in her position as deputy chief, as will Black in his role as sergeant.
Knoll on Monday said she plans to continue as deputy chief but did not otherwise comment on the selection process.
Holden appointed an interview committee to assist him with the hiring process. That committee included Cleburne Fire Chief Clint Ishmael, City Secretary Shelly Doty, Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford, CPD officer Shane Wickson and Cleburne Ford owner Bobby de la Garza.
“Of the 36 or so who applied the committee selected the top 16,” Holden said. “Of that, two withdrew I believe to accept other positions. I then interviewed the remaining 14 one on one, narrowed that to five and sent them back to the committee to interview them again with more detailed questions.”
The committee last week narrowed the five to Severance and Holguin.
“They are extremely strong candidates,” Holden said. “All of the top five were extremely strong.”
Holden said he will interview Severance and Holguin one on one again and plans to spend time with them at their current respective jobs.
Detailed background investigations into each are also under way, Holden said.
“I had hoped to recommend a candidate to the council during next week’s [city council] meeting,” Holden said. “But it looks like that’s going to have to wait until the second meeting in October or the first in November.”