[image-1]Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg hopes to have the city’s new police and fire chiefs hired by the end of the year if all goes to plan.

Last Friday, during a meeting of the city’s Public Safety Committee, the group received an update on the hiring process to permanently fill the openings left by former Fire Chief Karen Brack and former Police Chief Greg Mullen. Deputy Chief John Tippett was named as interim fire chief in April, while Deputy Chief Jerome Taylor took over as interim police chief at the beginning of August.

At the time of the announcement of Mullen’s departure as chief, Tecklenburg said that a nationwide search would be conducted to find his permanent replacement. On Friday, Tecklenburg predicted that the selection process would last around four months.

According to city staff, contracts are being finalized with Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) to assist with the search for the new chiefs. Representatives from both groups will visit Charleston in August to talk with city officials and discuss what qualifications are most important for each position. PERF was previously involved with the selection of Mullen as the city’s police chief 11 years ago.

“Those firms did exceptional work for us last time. I think we’ve already got this off under good footing,” said Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson, chair of the Public Safety Committee.