The search for a permanent Police Chief in Casper is down to a handful of candidates, and City Manager Carter Napier says interviews of those candidates are scheduled for next week.

Former Police Chief Jim Wetzel was fired last May after an often controversial time at the helm of the department. Steve Schulz has been serving as Interim Police Chief.

Napier says they've narrowed down the search.

"Five candidates will be in town next week," Napier says, "of course one of which is internal, and we hope to be able to peel the onion back as it were with respect to each of their qualities and characteristics and those kinds of things, and see who would be the best fit for our wonderful community."

Napier says there isn't a clear timeline as to when the permanent chief will be in place.

"It will depend on the interviews in a lot of ways, but the reality is, even with a real clear option as a result of that exercise, we will still have the work of negotiating the agreement," Napier says, "before we can come out with an announcement."

Napier says it's also possible that they may need to do additional research beyond that which they've already done.