MARLIN, TX — The city of Marlin late Friday, wrapped up interviews with 3 of the 5 semi-finalists in the running to become the city's next police chief.
The interviews took place behind closed doors, but we're told all went well with an impressive slate of candidates.
This group makes up, perhaps, the most qualified candidates ever to apply for the job, according to the city.
Resident Terri Westmorland said the city is looking for a change.
"The professionalism has not been the best, so we're looking for something a lot better," she explained.
As they began looking for a new police chief, the council and city manager raised the bar - setting qualifications higher than ever for Marlin's top cop.
"Pleasantly surprised, we got some serious candidates," said city manager Cedric Davis.
And as candidates sat for closed-door interviews with the manager and council Friday, they learned just how serious the candidates take the job.
"All have masters degrees, all have master police certification, and out of the three we interviewed today, one of them was a doctoral candidate...." Davis said.
The city hopes a new approach will change the reputation of Marlin from a "lock-'em-up" kind of town to a place that collaborates to cut crime.
"We have to bring someone here who's wanting to BE here, and want to do the RIGHT thing and WANT to be part of a partnership," Davis explained.
And he wants that partnership up-and-running by the end of the month.
Davis has this project on the fast track.
He hopes to have a new police chief selected and on the job by the end of the month or the beginning of November at the latest.
That's just what Marlin Taxpayers like Terri Westmorloand want to hear.
"I think it's about time, I think it's something that should have been done a long time ago. It's something that's been needed in this town," Westmoreland said.