The first round of interviews for a new police chief for Alice will soon take place.

City Manager Ray De Los Santos said he and the advisory committee will be meeting with the Strategic Government Resources (SGR), the company hired to search for a new chief, this Thursday. The advisory committee has been formed to work with SGR and city administration which include De Los Santos and Assistant City Manager Hector Hinojosa. The committee includes, Ralph Gomez, Steven Daniel, Ike Ornelas, Kathleen Kasper, Pete Ganis, Dr. Roel Valadez and Assistant Police Chief Albert Martinez.

“SGR has already begun dividing the applications into three tiers and we will begin to evaluate the first tier on Thursday,” De Los Santos said.

Fifty-four applications have been submitted for the police chief position with 18 states being represented among them.

“That's a lot for any city, certainly for Alice. We are very pleased with SGR for getting the position out there,” De Los Santos said.

De Los Santos said the first round of interviews, which will occur via Skype, will focus more on what's being seen in Alice like narcotics trafficking and gang activity. The interviews will also allow the committee and administration to get to know the candidates and how they will deal with those issues from strategic planning and how they will formulate and execute those plans.

“The whole point is not finding the well qualified candidate but find the best qualified candidate and also the best fit for Alice,” De Los Santos said.

The committee and administration will hold a second round of interviews for the semi-finalists which De Los Santos said will probably between two to five. The semi-finalists will be brought to Alice and tour the community. There will also be a meet and greet involving media and the public allowing them a chance to question the semi-finalists. De Los Santos said the reason for the meet and greet is to see how well the candidates interact with the media.

The meet and greet is expected to happen in January.