Public invited to meet Vancouver police chief finalists

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A reception for the five finalists competing to become chief of the Vancouver Police Department will be at 5 to 7 p.m. today at City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St.

Assistant Chief Chris Sutter, who has been acting chief since the departure of Cliff Cook, is among the finalists.

Cook announced his resignation in August 2012 after meeting with City Manager Eric Holmes. His decision to leave was described as the result of a mutual agreement that the department needed fresh leadership.

Cook is now chief of the Bellingham Police Department.

In addition to Sutter, the other finalists are:

• Gresham (Ore.) Police Chief Craig Junginger.

• Riverside County (Calif.) Sheriff's Department Commander James McElvain.

• Ronald Ruecker, assistant director of the Office of Law Enforcement Coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

• Paul Walters, who most recently served as the city manager/police commissioner for Santa Ana, Calif.

A nationwide search by Bob Murray & Associates yielded approximately 60 applicants.While the final call will be made by Holmes, the candidates will be interviewed by panels of community members, city management staff members, and members of the Vancouver Police Officers Guild and Police Commanders Union.