GILMER -- City Manager Jeff Ellington said Friday he has received "at least a dozen" applications thus far for police chief, and that he hopes to fill the position no later than the end of August.
The new chief will succeed James Grunden, who is retiring effective June 30 after 18 years on the job. (The resignation was originally effective Aug. 31, but Grunden moved up the date). Until the position is filled, Assistant Chief T.J. Harris will be in charge of the police department, said Ellington.
The city manager, who is empowered by the City Charter to name the new chief, said he will probably receive more applications as no deadline has been set for submitting them. He also said he was generally pleased at the quality of the applicants to date, which include "some not far away," and some as distant as California and Indiana--including one who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Ellington also said three current members of the Gilmer Police Department "have expressed an interest" in the chief position, but he didn't know if they had actually applied.
"I think we've got some people in the department that are qualified," he added. "We'll look at all of them (applications), but it's doubtful somebody from California or Indiana is going to end up in Gilmer," Ellington said.
"I think we'll have no trouble finding somebody," he added.
He noted the position has been advertised on the Texas Municipal League's Internet website, and he expressed gratitude for the interest in the job from both outside and inside the local police force.
Ellington said he will begin next week winnowing down the number of applicants to determine who will be interviewed. He said he would prefer to fill the post by the end of July.
While the position remains vacant "in the short run," Ellington said he anticipated no major problems in the police department since it has an "excellent command staff."