City leaders in Reynoldsburg are getting closer to choosing a new police chief as eight candidates for the position go through assessments designed to narrow the list to five.

Representatives from the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police were expected to administer the tests Jan. 27 and 28 to William Early, Ronald Gray, Brian Lance, Gayle E. Kanz, Kimberly Nuesse, David M. Plesich, Jeffrey Scott and Keith Washburn.

Sandra Boller, human resources director for the city of Reynoldsburg, said the OACP would use the test results to identify the top five candidates.

"The top five would then be interviewed on Feb. 13 and 14 by the final-selection committee," she said.

Not all members of that committee have been selected yet, but Boller said it will include Mayor Brad McCloud, City Council President Doug Joseph, City Attorney Jed Hood and representatives from the OACP and the Reynoldsburg Civil Service Commission.

Joseph said members would meet Feb. 12 to look over applications.

"After the interviews, the committee will make a recommendation of the top three and the mayor will select from that top three," Boller said.

Joseph said McCloud would recommend a candidate as his final choice, but City Council will still need to approve that choice with a majority vote.

The candidates

* Early has been acting chief since former chief Jim O'Neill's last day Sept. 22. Early began serving as a patrol officer in 1995 and moved up in the ranks to detective, sergeant and then lieutenant.

According to his resume, he was a combat engineer with the United States Army, serving missions overseas from 1988 to 1992.

* Gray is a retired deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division for the Columbus Division of Police. He has held various command positions with that department, including commander of internal affairs from March 2005 to December 2008.

He also served as a sergeant in the United States Army, from 1976-1979.

* Lance is a lieutenant with the Columbus Division of Police, having moved up in the ranks from patrol officer since 1999. He supervises the Special Victims Bureau and the family crisis the sexual assault sections. He also is a former Marine.

* Kanz is a patrol lieutenant at the Columbus State Community College Police Department. He served as a Columbus Police officer from 1979 until his 2015 retirement and was a sergeant with the division from 1998 to 2015.

He is a licensed attorney and a member of the Columbus Bar Association.

* Nuesse has been police chief for the village of Minerva Park since 2011. Before that, she served two years as chief of police for the city of Sandusky. She also served as a lieutenant and administration bureau commander for the Reynoldsburg Division of Police from 2004 to 2006.

* Plesich has served as patrol officer with the police department in Charleston, South Carolina, since June 2016. Before that, he was a lieutenant in the patrol bureau and then in the detective bureau at the Hilliard Division of Police from July 2011 to June 2016.

He also is an attorney, licensed in Ohio and in U.S. District Court, Southern District.

* Scott has been chief of police at the Notre Dame College Police Department in South Euclid, Ohio, since 2013. He is the owner and firearms instructor of the Law Enforcement Training and Tactical Institute.

He also is a lecturer and has published a number of articles on effective law enforcement strategies, according to his resume.

* Washburn has been chief of police for the city of Chillicothe since July 2014. He has been with the department since May 1995, moving up from patrol officer to sergeant to captain and then chief.

He also served as an intelligence analyst specialist with the United States Army from 1990 to 1993.

He in enrolled in law school at Capital University and expects to graduate in May, according to his resume.

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