BRADENTON -- The city of Bradenton has narrowed the list of more than 100 applicants for the Bradenton police chief position to nine finalists.
Chief Michael Radzilowski announced in April he would retire in December after more than 13 years as BPD police chief and 45 years in law enforcement.
In late July, the city of Bradenton officially posted the position and accepted applications through an Aug. 31 deadline. A total of 118 applications were received.
The applications were reviewed by Radzilowski and city human resources manager Christy Habony, who submitted comments on the applicants to Mayor Wayne Poston, who also is the city police commissioner.
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Poston narrowed the list of applicants to 10 finalists, but one took a job elsewhere.
The nine finalists:
Capt. Josh Cramer, Bradenton Police Department.
Chief Christopher Cotillo, Seat Pleasant, Md., Police Department.
Assistant chief Brian C. Harris, Dekalb County, Ga., Police Department.
Assistant chief Peter Newsham, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C.
Director of security and loss prevention Marion S. Lewis, Saddlebrook Golf & Tennis Resort, Pasco County.
Assistant chief Melanie Bevan, St. Petersburg Police Department.
Deputy chief Dean M. Smith, Suffolk, Va., Police Department.
Chief George Brian Turner, Brooksville, Fla., Police Department.
Maj. Larry William Branson, Savannah-Chatham, Ga., Metropolitan Police Department.
"We called them all and told them they were finalists," Poston said Thursday. "Now we will do background checks on everyone."
He said he hopes to narrow the list to three or four finalists before setting up interviews.
"It was a good group. They all fit the basic criteria such as the bachelor's degree, but they went beyond that. Most all of them have been to the FBI Academy," Poston said. "These are people that know what they are doing."
Among the finalists, Cramer was the only one chosen from within the department.
"I'm honored to be chosen among the finalists for the position of chief of police for the Bradenton Police Department," Cramer said.
Bevan said she was looking forward to the process and having a chance to interview for the position.
"I'm honored to have been selected as a semifinalist among such a distinguished group of law-enforcement professionals," Bevan said. "I'm convinced I not only possess the leadership skills and experience required for the chief position, I also bring a lifetime commitment to the region, which will serve to strengthen my connections with the Bradenton community."
Lewis was also said he looking forward to the process.
"I believe that I have the experience necessary for the position of police chief," Lewis said. "My experience with community policing is probably second to none."
Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.