BRADENTON -- More than 100 people have applied to be Bradenton's next police chief, after current Chief Michael Radzilowski retires.
Radzilowski announced in April that after more than 13 years as police chief and 45 years in law enforcement, he would retire in December.
The position was officially posted by the city of Bradenton in late July, and the deadline for applications was Monday. A total of 118 applications were received.
Mayor Wayne Poston, who also is the city's police commissioner, said he was not surprised to have received so many applications.
"It's a great place to live, and whoever comes in, is coming in behind a great chief," Poston said.
The agency has done good work and crime is down in the past 12 years, he said.
Poston said he would love to hire someone who has experience in community policing. Radzilowski introduced the community policing model and attributes it as contributing to the reduction of crime.
The city is looking for someone with a great police record and leadership skills, Poston added.
Applicants included police officials, federal agents and security experts from all over the United States and from as far as Africa, according to Radzilowski.
From within the department, Captains William Fowler and Josh Cramer have applied. Other applicants from the Tampa Bay region include Manatee County Sheriff's Office Captain Lorenzo Waiters; St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Melanie Bevan; Brooksville Police Chief George Turner; and Sarasota-Bradenton Airport Police Chief James Carlino.
Radzilowski said his intention is to remain as chief until a new chief is named and in place.
The city will begin reviewing the applications, eventually narrowing the list down to a list of five or six finalists. The city hopes to have the new police chief by Dec. 1, Radzilowski said.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.