BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The interviews just ended. The final background checks are being completed. By this time next week, Bay St. Louis will learn who the mayor believes the next police chief should be.
Mayor Les Fillingame confirmed Tuesday his committee has narrowed its search to a few finalists. He said Bay St. Louis received applications from "a very competent field of candidates, which has made it that much more difficult to find the right chief for our department."
His goal was to make his police chief recommendation to the city council by Dec. 6. Fillingame said he'll meet that deadline.
"We're looking forward to having a name," Fillingame told WLOX News Now.
What the city council does with that name remains to be seen. In recent weeks, some council members talked about the possibility of turning over the city's law enforcement responsibilities to the Hancock County Sheriff's Department. At the moment, that idea is nothing more than a proposal under consideration.
If the city council chooses to keep its police force, it must ratify the mayor's top cop nominee. Council members have not indicated whether they'll vote on the police chief recommendation at next week's meeting.
Bay St. Louis has been without a permanent police chief since early September when Mike DeNardo took his own life outside the city's police headquarters. Wes Mayley is currently the city's interim chief.