Reynoldsburg Police Chief Jim O'Neill won't retire until the end of October, but spent his last day in the office last Friday, Sept. 22.

Lt. Bill Early was named acting Reynoldsburg police chief Sept. 23.

Reynoldsburg Mayor Brad McCloud said the process for hiring the next police chief will begin in a couple of weeks.

"We will advertise the position for a month," he said. "Lt. Early, who is currently acting chief, will be a candidate. The process would also be open to outside candidates.

"I anticipate having the new chief in place by the end of January 2018," he said.

Before O'Neill was named chief in 2012, a five-member panel that included the president of FOP Capital City Lodge 9, Reynoldsburg's safety-service director, the chairman of City Council's safety committee and a police chief from another central Ohio city reviewed the first round of candidates.

The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police ranked the candidates in order of preference after determining if they met the job requirements.

The final selection committee in 2012 included the mayor, a chief of police representative, the City Council president, the city attorney and the chairman of the Reynoldsburg Civil Service Commission.

O'Neill was hired as a Reynoldsburg police officer in 1992 and has been chief since Sept. 11, 2012.

He took over from Scott McKinley, who had been interim chief following the resignation of former chief David Suciu. McKinley retired that year to accept a position with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Early had an eventful first day as interim chief, since the second power outage in two days in Reynoldsburg meant power was out at the police station and municipal buildings.

Police officers had to man intersections that had no working traffic signals.

"We had to call in a few third-shift officers to help out," he said.

He said the city also had to transfer its 911 calls to Franklin County on Friday, since a backup generator failed and computer systems were down.

"I guess you could say I had a trial by fire on the first day," Early said.

pwillis@thisweeknews.com

@PamelaThisWeek