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List narrowing for city police chief candidates
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Gainesville’s city manager said he hopes to narrow down a long list of applicants for the city’s police chief position by next week.

Kip Padgett, who spoke to the Gainesville Kiwanis Club about various city issues Tuesday, said he could complete interviewing candidates by the end of the week. Of approximately 70 applicants, Padgett said the city has chosen to interview 11.

The city’s police department has been without a chief since former Chief Frank Hooper retired on Dec. 31.

Since then, the 120-person agency has been under two temporary leaders.

Former Deputy Chief Jane Nichols was interim chief from Jan. 1 until March 17.

Nichols, a 28-year veteran of the department, gave notice of her retirement on Feb. 17 after learning the city planned to advertise the position for both outside and internal applicants.

She also has said her style of speaking her mind may not have been well-suited for the politics involved in being police chief.

Since Nichols’ retirement, 20-year department veteran Chad White has been serving as interim chief.

White has said he will not seek the permanent position.

However, four of the candidates that will be interviewed by the end of this week are from within the department, Padgett said.

“Hopefully, by the end of next week we’ll have a short list,” said Padgett. “And we’ll bring those back for a follow-up interview. I hope.”

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