The search for Scituate's next police chief has been whittled down to three.
The yet-undisclosed candidates are going through an assessment center review before their final interview with Town Administrator Patricia Vinchesi. The selection, which will be made by the town administrator, is expected to come by the start of October.
“Out of 26 [applicants], we interviewed nine,” said Selectmen Chair Shawn Harris, who sat on the initial search committee. “We felt four were all at the same level, so we sent four on. For those, it’s a difficult decision [to choose].”
One of the four candidates has backed out of the process, citing concerns with moving to the town.
The process to get to three has been intensive.
Alongside Harris, other search committee members included Selectman Tony Vegnani; the chief of police in Marshfield; the former executive director of the Massachusetts Police Association and retired chief of police in Longmeadow; the principal of Scituate High; the president of the police union; and three at-large community members, including for Selectman Joseph Norton.
“One member of board had been involved in the process before,” Harris said. “He’s never been in a more involved or more thorough … committee before. He said this was the best he’s ever been involved in.”
In addition to the search committee, Harris said, community members and business owners met the candidates to get a feel for each applicant and make recommendations.
The interview process has since moved on to an assessment center, which will give the to-be-chiefs a series of tests and report back on their performance. That information will be passed on to Vinchesi.
Harris expects the assessment center report to come back in early September, and while the process is on track to be finished in September, the timeline is in Vinchesi’s hands, Harris said.
“I cant speak for her. It’s her appointment,” Harris said.
Regardless who is chosen, Harris said the applicants were impressive and the race for the role competitive.
“Any one of them [I’d be happy with],” he said.