GALVESTON

The city of Galveston on Wednesday named seven finalists for the job of police chief.

The city received 46 applications for the position, city officials said. Four of the seven finalists are members of the Galveston Police Department or otherwise employed by the city.

The internal candidates are Capt. Larry Chambers, Sgt. John Courtney, Sgt. Destin Sims and City Marshal Michael Gray.

The three external candidates are Glen “Allen” Fowler, former police chief of the Watauga Police Department in suburban Fort Worth; Deputy Chief of Police Vernon Hale of the Dallas Police Department; and retired Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief George Buenik.

The city named a fourth external candidate, former Chief Deputy Tammy Burr of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, as a finalist, but she accepted a different job, City Manager Brian Maxwell said.

“I’m actually pleasantly surprised at the caliber of applicants that we had for the job,” Maxwell said. “We planned on, and had on the back burner possibly, of hiring a recruiting officer if we didn’t get a good pool of applicants.”

Both Gray and Sims were finalists in the city’s last search for a police chief in 2016.

An interview panel of five city officials and two community members began conducting the interviews Wednesday and will continue interviews Thursday, city spokeswoman Jaree Fortin said.

The panel includes Maxwell, Deputy City Manager Daniel Buckley, Police Chief Richard Boyle, city executive directors Kent Etienne and David Smith, and community members James Patterson and David Miller, Fortin said.

Maxwell will narrow the applicant pool down after interviews and then conduct final interviews, Fortin said. He will make the hire and Galveston City Council must confirm the appointment, Maxwell said.

Maxwell said he hopes to make a decision by the end of the year and have the new police chief serve concurrently with Boyle during his last month or so in the position.

Boyle announced in October he would retire in February. Boyle began his law enforcement career in Galveston and rose through the ranks. He moved up to the position of captain before joining the University of Houston-Downtown Police Department in 2000 as an assistant chief of police. He became the chief of police there in 2003.

By the time Boyle retires, he will mark a 40-year career in law enforcement.

Samantha Ketterer: 409-683-5241; samantha.ketterer@galvnews.com or on Twitter at @sam_kett

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(1) comment

Jarvis Buckley

Why do we have so many changes in police chief?

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