And then there were five.

On Oct. 17, the city of Hillsboro announced it had narrowed its search for a new police chief for the Hillsboro Police Department to five final candidates. In all, the city reported it had received 62 applications for the position from candidates in 17 states.

Hillsboro has been without a full-time police chief since the March 9 resignation of Carey Sullivan, who had been hired to serve as Hillsboro’s chief in 2010.

In his resignation letter, Sullivan cited a desire to “pursue other interests” as well as “the controversy that surrounded the recruitment process when I was hired” as among the reasons for his departure.

City Manager Michael Brown said he wants to have a new “highly qualified” chief in place by early 2014, but Brown has stressed that Hillsboro will take as much time as is needed to find the right candidate.

“Selecting the right person is just the beginning,” Brown said. “Our next Police Chief will need the support of our community and staff to effectively lead the Hillsboro Police Department.”

The names of the five finalists have not yet been released.

“Names and background information for the five finalists will be made available to the public in the coming weeks as interviews begin,” explained Patrick Preston, the city’s public affairs manager. “The finalists are currently notifying their respective communities.”

In July, the city began an extensive effort to seek public input on the most highly desired characteristics a police chief should possess. In August, Hillsboro launched a national recruitment campaign that included a humorous and controversial video designed to find candidates who could embrace the culture and connect with the Hillsboro community.

Following an initial review of the 62 applicants, city staff conducted introductory interviews with 17 applicants to winnow the field to five. The finalists will take part in multiple interview panels featuring community members and members of the city’s staff. Top finalists will also be asked to participate in “open house” meetings with members of the public and city staff.

Lt. Mike Rouches, spokesman for the Hillsboro Police Department, said the department’s officers and staff have not been given any information about who the finalists are.

“So far, all the department knows is that it’s five people, and the process is continuing,” Rouches said.

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