Peoria Police Narrows Search for Police Chief to Three Finalists

The Peoria Police Department has been searching for a new police chief and has narrowed its search down to three finalists.

Larry Ratcliff has been heading the West Valley police agency since 2007, and he's ready to retire on February 1.

Stepping into his shoes will be either Denton (Texas) Police Chief Roy W. Minter, Deputy Police Chief Michael Painter of Kent, Washington or Todd Wuestewald, police chief in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

The initial pool of 62 applicants was narrowed down to the three finalists who will be interviewing for the job on January 10 and 11. City officials hope to have a new chief on board by March, according to a city press release.

Ratcliff took on the job of top cop when Police Chief David Leonardo, his predecessor, resigned following criticism from the rank and file officers about his "heavy-handed management style" and a "work environment tainted with mistrust, intimidation and retaliation," Arizona Republic reporter Cecilia Chan wrote in a 2007 article.