BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Mayor Les Fillingame says it's business as usual over at the Bay St. Louis Police Department, and that's because Interim Chief Wes Mayley has done his best to keep things running smoothly despite being suddenly being thrown into the position.
"It was a very, very difficult transition. It took quite some time to get back into the swing of things, but now we're kind of slowly moving forward as best we can until they name a new police chief," said Interim Chief Wes Mayley.
Former police chief Mike Denardo's name is still on the glass outside the police department. Denardo was found in his patrol car suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot on Sept. 8. Denardo had just been told he was being suspended.
Mayley says he's tried to offer his fellow officers as much support as he can.
"We had one-on-one, anyone that wanted to talk with me could. I kept my door open at all times. My cell phone was on 24/7," said Mayley.
Mayor Fillingame praises the work Mayley has done as the hiring process for a new chief is well under way.
"We're getting applications from all over the state, and really, all over the region," said Fillingame.
The city began advertising the position on Sept. 26 and plans to stop taking applications by the end of the month.
"I will probably pair it down to 10 or so of the top candidates. I'll probably put together a little local committee that might include some third party law enforcement professionals to come in, and help me do the final interviews," said Fillingame.
An investigation into Denardo's death is being conducted by the FBI. Although it's out of the city's hands, Fillingame says the candidates chosen will be briefed on the necessary details.
"We're already working on the areas as far as inventories and everything that will really solidify the policies and procedures going forward that would assist them in making sure the investigation is complete and that they know exactly what they're dealing with," added Fillingame.