Oak Creek Oak Creek town officials have narrowed down the search for a new police chief to eight applicants, which has put the town's manager to work figuring out time zones to coordinate phone interviews.
Of the eight applicants, six are from out of state.
"Right now, I'm trying to figure out the time zones to set up the interviews," Oak Creek Town Manager Ray Leibensperger said Tuesday afternoon.
The applicants are from Tennessee, Illinois, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida and Colorado.
"We've got some tremendous qualifications here," he said.
The list of applicants are those who are still available for the job. However, Leibensperger said he hasn't confirmed with all of them if they will agree to an interview. Until that happens, he wouldn't divulge the names or release the rmof those on the short list.
The original short list had 13 applicants, which was narrowed down from a pool of 33 by town trustees Sonja Norris and Charlie Bevan, interim Police Chief Ilene Rossi and Leibensperger. Five of the 13 were no longer interested in the job, narrowing the list to eight.
The final applicants will be interviewed by a nine-person interview committee. Six committee members are law enforcement officers in Routt or Moffat counties, while the other three will represent business owners, private residents and the South Routt School District.
Committee member David Bonfiglio, who is representing business owners in Oak Creek, said he sees his purpose in the interview process as a watchdog.
"I think my role is predominantly as an observer," he said. "But if I'm not comfortable with what is going on, I'll speak up."
He admitted the six law enforcement officers will have better questions for the applicants, which will indicate if the person is adequately qualified for the job.
However, if he doesn't feel as if the best interests of the community are being represented, he'll step in.
"It's certainly to be there to answer any questions, too," Bonfiglio said.
Though the law enforcement officers which include top dogs in the Routt County Sheriff's Office, the Colorado State Patrol and Hayden, Steamboat and Craig police departments will have more qualification-based questions for the applicants, Bonfiglio said they may not be versed in the finer details of the community.
Leibensperger said the final decision on how the police chief will be chosen hasn't been made. But he suspects the list will be narrowed to a first, second and third preferred choice.
Norris said the town will attempt to do interviews next week.