BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The deadline to apply for the vacant Bay St. Louis police chief position is this Friday. Mayor Les Fillingame says he's already received more than 20 applications from people interested in running his city's police force.
"We've gotten quite a few candidates from around the state," the mayor said. He confirmed most of the resumes come from people who already live along the coast. He's also gotten applications from people who live in New Orleans and St. Tammany Parish over in Louisiana.
Once the application deadline closes, Mayor Fillingame will work with a local and a state law enforcement professional to evaluate the resumes and develop a list of finalists. He hopes to interview the top candidates by the end of next week. The mayor says the state representative will serve on the interview committee. Mayor Fillingame remains hopeful he can recommend a police chief candidate to the Bay St. Louis City Council by mid-November.
In recent days, the council began asking questions about whether the city's police force should be taken over by the Hancock County Sheriff's Department. Last week, council members heard a presentation from the sheriff about what he could offer the city, and what it might cost. Mayor Fillingame is aware those talks could impact his search for a police chief.
"We have some concerns about it," he said. "Those people will want to know it's a stable environment they're moving into."
It's the mayor's belief that his city will continue to operate its own police department.