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(Ottumwa)— The Ottumwa City Council could be one step closer to selecting a new police chief later on Friday.

The City is in the process of hiring a chief following the retirement earlier this year of Jim Clark. Based on a review of qualifications, the Civil Service Commission test and panel interview, three top candidates for the position are Jeff Jirak of Wilton, Iowa, Tom McAndrew from the Ottumwa Police Department and Lawrence McNaul from Grinnell.

Last night at Bridge View Center a public reception was held to meet the candidates.

This afternoon the City Council will meet at 1:00 p.m. then go into a closed session to interview the candidates individually.

Following the interview process, the council will reconvene for possible action to appoint the preferred candidate. City Information Coordinator Tom Rodgers says the council could make the appointment Friday or wait until a later date.