NORMANGEE, Tex. (KBTX) - The city of Normangee has gone nearly a year without a police chief and nearly six months without a fully staffed department.
Officials say all that could change at Thursday’s council meeting when council members meet with a final candidate.
Last March, Normangee's former police Chief Charles Herford was arrested following an early morning pursuit that ended with a standoff at his home. He faced charges of deadly conduct and evading in a motor vehicle.
Fast forward to the next month the city's council suspended Herford without pay. He later resigned and since that time the city has been without a police chief.
The department has been unstaffed since November. Madison and Leon County Sheriff's deputies had to step in to help patrol.
"It's really important that we get it back to where it should be,” said Normangee Mayor Gary Dawkins.
Thursday, after months of reviewing more than a dozen candidates, Dawkins says the council will get the opportunity to vote on a final candidate.
"Hopefully now we can take the bad that has taken place and move on," said Dawkins.
As far as how long the process has taken, Dawkins says all candidates that were seriously considered had to undergo an extensive background check.
"We probably could have just rushed the thing up but we didn't feel comfortable that was the way to do things," he said.
A retired chief of police, James Harris, from Brownsville is the final candidate. The council will make a final decision Thursday night.
Once the position is filled the new chief will hire an officer to patrol the city.