Madison's former police chief says the finalists to replace him are "quality candidates."
The Madison Police and Fire Commission named two men as finalists for the job this week.
Sgt. Mike Koval and Capt. Carl Gloede, two longtime MPD officers, are still in the running for the city's top cop.
Former Chief Noble Wray, in his new capacity as head of the Urban League of Greater Madison, calls the naming of two internal candidates a "good thing."
"I think it affirms the direction in which we're going," said Wray. "Clearly the new chief will assess where the community is, where the department is and make some changes for the purposes of continuous improvement.
Koval is in charge of recruitment and training for MPD, is a former FBI agent and hostage negotiator and was also a finalist to be Chief in 2004.
Gloede is a former secret service agent who has helped coordinate city response to "Occupy Madison", Freakfest, the Mifflin Street block partyand the 2011 Capitol protests. Gloede also coordinates the honor guard for the department.
"I think the community can rest assured that they've got two individuals with high integrity that have compassion not only for the profession but for the people in this community," said Wray.
The PFC narrowed the race from 20 candidates to six. Four other semi-finalists for the job were South District MPD Captain Joe Balles, Dean of Blackhawk Technical College public safety program and former MPD lieutenant Mark Brown, David Ennis, a lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department in Maryland and Michael Scott, Director of the UW's Center for Problem-Oriented Policing.
Of those finalists was just one person of color, and no women applied for the job. Wray says that surprises him, but he doesn't fault the commission.
"They have done an outstanding job," said Wray. "Would I have liked to have seen more diversity? Absolutely. But I think their work has been second-to-none and I think you'd be hard-pressed with the demographics in this community to have a commission produce what they have."
PFC officials do not have an exact time frame for when the decision will be made and are currently conducting background investigations and further interviews with the two candidates.