With the retirement of Port Moody police chief Brad Parker at the end of January, the search for a new top cop is intensifying.
The city, through the police board, has put out the call for applicants through various police associations and unions, as well as internally, in the last two months, and is still considering whether to take the search outside the country.
The board is hoping to have a replacement by June.
While the board hasn't launched a major campaign to find a new chief, Mayor Mike Clay noted it has already received a number of applications, though he wouldn't disclose the amount or quality of the applicants.
"From what I've seen from the people who have applied so far . there are highly qualified people willing to come to Port Moody," he told The NOW, noting other municipal police forces are lending the city a hand in finding a replacement.
Parker, who served as chief for five years, announced his retirement from the force last October. At the time, he said after 32 years in policing, it was time to retire.
Clay suggested it's critical the board pick the right person for the job, adding the role of chief has many aspects, including dealing with the force's finances and the continued integration of regional police teams.
He also said the new chief will need to be someone who can work with city council and the union.
"It's very important right now that we have the correct style and character make-up of our leadership that will get us through these next steps," he said.
One of the challenges a new chief will be facing includes dealing with a growing budget.
Currently, the city is looking at a $650,000 increase to the police budget, or 7.48 per cent from 2012.
However, city council has requested $260,000 be slashed from the budget.
Depending on the timing, the new chief will also need to get the force signed up to a new emergency response team.
The department signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with its policing cousins in Vancouver at the beginning of 2013 to join the VPD's emergency response team.
But a few weeks later the VPD notified Port Moody police that the MOU would expire at the end of June.
Even with all the challenges, it doesn't appear the board and the mayor are going to rush the decision.
"We'll take the time to make sure we get it right," Clay said.
"It's a long-term decision for the department and for the city."
Until a candidate is picked, deputy chief Chris Rattenbury will be acting chief.