The city of Tuscaloosa has narrowed the search for its next chief of police to two local candidates, a spokesman announced Thursday.

Richard Rush, the city's director of communications, said 62 candidates applied for the job after former Chief Steve Anderson retired last August.

Seven of those candidates were chosen to participate in the first round of interviews conducted by a search committee consisting of city staffers, and two are now moving forward to the second round of interviews.

The candidates are Lt. Brent P Blankley and retired Captain Randy Vaughn, both veterans of the Tuscaloosa Police Department.

Lt. Blankley has served Tuscaloosa as an officer for 13 years, and he is currently the commander of the Municipal Security Unit. He has served as a patrol officer, a crime prevention officer, public information officer and midnight shift patrol commander. He has been promoted from officer to sergeant and again to Lieutenant. He was also awarded the Tuscaloosa Police Medal of Honor in 2017.

Captain Vaughn served in the Tuscaloosa Police Department for 30 years before retiring in 2018, capping a 13-year stint as TPD's commander of training and logistics. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a 25-year veteran of the National Guard. Since retirement, he has worked with the Alabama Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission training new law enforcement officers in Tuscaloosa, among several other roles.

The two candidates will attend a question and answer session with current members of the Tuscaloosa Police Department on Feb. 12th before going before the search committee later that day for the second round of interviews.

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