North Adams is entering the next phase of its search for a new police chief, with phone interviews of eight candidates set to begin next week.

The Berkshire Eagle  reports the posting solicited 40 applicants from a broad geographical area and diverse background, Mayor Thomas Bernard told The Eagle on Friday.

An advisory search committee that Bernard has formed to find a replacement for North Adams Police Chief Michael Cozzaglio, who announced his retirement last November, has narrowed the field to eight.

After the phone interviews, the search committee will select an undetermined number of finalists who will go through a more rigorous, in-person process that will include meetings with the search committee, North Adams Fire Department chief and an open community meeting, Bernard said.

The search committee consists of Northern Berkshire Community Coalition Executive Director Amber Besaw; North Adams Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Malkas; City Councilor Jason LaForest; Northern Berkshire EMS General Manager John Meaney Jr.; North Adams Police Sgt. Preston Kelly; and Michael Obasohan, coordinator of the Multicultural Education Resource Center at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Names of candidates will not be revealed until finalists are named, though at least one of the eight remaining candidates is an internal applicant, Bernard confirmed.

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