Worthington has had two acting police chiefs leading up to the likely announcement of a new chief in October, according to city leaders.

City spokesperson Anne Brown said because of vacations and training schedules, the department's two lieutenants, Michael Holton and Stephen Mette, have been serving as chiefs.

Jerry Strait, who had been chief since replacing James Mosic in 2016, retired at the end of August, according to city leaders.

Holton was acting chief from July 20 to Aug. 19. Mette took over the interim role Aug. 20.

"It is anticipated that the next chief will be selected by early October," she said.

Personnel director Lori Trego said 35 people had applied for the position as of Aug. 20. Brown said the position would remain open until filled.

Trego said a consultant group, Management Partners, was hired by the city to select a candidate. She said the city's contract with Management Partners is for $22,500.

Trego said Management Partners is recruiting for the position and conducted all of the initial selections and interviewing. She said 10 to 12 candidates were selected to be discussed with City Manager Matt Greeson, and six of them were invited to an "assessment center," which was conducted by the Kettering Group.

Trego said Management Partners included the Kettering Group and its services in its contract proposal to the city. The consulting group specializing in the law-enforcement hiring process was tasked with performing an assessment center, which is a testing process using job-related exercises to evaluate the skills needed for a position, she said.

She said the Kettering Group is made up of former local government employees and former police chiefs in Ohio and led the six candidates through exercises to evaluate their skills. She said this took place Aug. 6 at the Worthington Municipal Building.

Trego said Greeson is following up with those who were in the assessment center. She said after this, some would be selected for interviews, likely in September.

According to the application information on worthington.org, the salary of the new chief would be $125,522 per year. Brown said the salary range could vary depending on experience of the candidate selected.

Brown said Strait's salary was $125,522 per year, with a benefits package that includes required contributions to the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund of 19.5% of his salary (roughly $24,500) and insurance benefits ranging from $11,042 to $27,713, depending on single or family coverage.

Trego said both Holton and Mette are being paid at the chief's rate during the times they serve as interim chief.

She said both will be paid an hourly rate of $55.89 per hour while serving as acting chief. She said Holton makes $53.60 an hour and Mette makes $51.64 an hour in their normal positions.