Only two candidates remain in the hunt for a new chief of police of the UCSB Police Dept. (UCPD), as a university search committee enters the final phase of its selection process.

The search committee — a 14-member body consisting of professors, students and faculty members — will soon select one of the two remaining candidates after nearly nine months of outside consultation, candidate interviews and town hall meetings seeking student input, said Donna Carpenter, acting vice chancellor of administrative services. Acting Chief of Police Bill Bean said that, to his knowledge, he is still a candidate for the position, but Carpenter said she could not disclose the candidates’ identities because they are currently undergoing reference checks,

Carpenter said she will make the final decision with the approval of Chancellor Yang.

“We’re looking for somebody who believes in consultation and working through issues collaboratively,” Carpenter said. “Somebody having leadership, vision and direction for the organization.”

The search committee was created in August 2004 to find a replacement for the late John MacPherson, former chief of police who served with the UCPD for over 30 years until his retirement in February 2004, Carpenter said.

The university contracted Bob Murray & Associates, an employment search company, to find viable candidates for the position, said Amy Jacobs, administrative assistant to the vice chancellor of administrative services. Out of 43 initial applicants, the company selected eight candidates, which the search committee then whittled down to four. One candidate, however, withdrew her application after accepting an offer to serve as chief of police for UC Merced.

Students and community members were given the opportunity to meet the three candidates, including Bean, during town hall meetings this April. Atherton, Calif. Chief of Police Robert Brennan discussed campus safety issues with students on April 11, and Jeffrey Young, chief of police for CSU Channel Islands, did so on April 14.

Carpenter said the committee wants to select a chief who understands and can work with the dynamics of a university campus.

“Policing on a campus is a lot different than policing in a city,” Carpenter said. “So we’re looking for someone who understands that. I think both candidates understand that.”

Jared Renfro, former Associated Students external vice president of external affairs and member of the committee, said the candidates were strongly recommended, but could not elaborate as the decision-making process is underway.