Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton named three finalists, all from within the Columbia Police Department, for the deputy chief position in a news release Wednesday.
The candidates announced were Capt. Dianne Bernhard, a 20-year member of the department working in administrative support; Lt. Shelley Jones, a 19-year member working in Internal Affairs; and Sgt. Jill Schlude, a 7-year member working as a spokeswoman in the Public Relations Unit.
The deputy chief job has been vacant since former deputy chief Steve Monticelli relocated to Harrisonburg, Va., in June to take a job as police chief.
The search for candidates extended nationwide and interviews were conducted by a panel of external assessors, according to the news release.
“After a nationwide search, I am pleased to be able to confirm to the public my strong belief in the talent we have within our department,” Burton stated in the release. “These candidates should feel very proud to have made it to this point.”
The finalists will meet with Burton and City Manager Mike Matthes for the next step of the hiring process, which includes discussing the direction CPD is headed and the candidate’s attitude toward that direction. According to the release, Burton hopes to reach a decision in the next few weeks.