VACAVILLE — The search for the top law enforcement leader in Vacaville is winding down as the final three candidates face second interviews this week.
The top candidates face a management panel Tuesday that includes Mayor Steve Hardy and Councilman Mitch Mashburn – both who have law enforcement experience – and a group of police managers who will be working with the new chief on a regular basis, said Dawn Del Biaggio, the city’s human resources director.
The recruitment opened in November and closed in December and attracted 39 applicants, mostly from California but some from other parts of the U.S. and also one internal application. Of those 39, six were invited for first-round interviews. Then six became three.
City Manager Laura Kuhn said they’d like to have a new chief in place by the end of April.
“We had a really great, great group of candidates,” Kuhn said. “We’re well-poised to find the perfect police chief.”
The selectee will take the place of Interim Chief Randy Ulibarri, who stepped in in November when Chief Richard Word retired.
Ulibarri spent 30 years with the Union City Police Department where he became chief in 2000. He spent seven years as chief and after retirement did two additional interim stints, in Newman and Folsom.
Word spent 29 years a police officer. Before coming to Vacaville, the San Francisco native worked for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department and as a police officer in Oakland. Word has said he plans to stay in Vacaville and potentially teach or possibly go back to school – perhaps law school – or enter a Ph.d program.
Kuhn said this is the first police chief search the city has had to do in 10 years.
After the final candidate is chosen, an extensive background check mandated by Peace Officer Standards and Training, more commonly known as POST, will take place. No formal announcement will be made until the process is completed.
“We’re moving forward as quick as we can,” Kuhn said.
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