Three applicants for police chief were to be re-interviewed last night by the Board of Aldermen and a final decision is expected, hopefully, next week, the Mayor said.

Mayor James A. Young said he hoped that after the final round of interviews the board would be ready to make an announcement during the Dec. 17 meeting.

"Every candidate did well and now we're trying to find a balance between experience and the different aspects we're looking for," he said.

The names of the candidates have not been released but Young noted that the three finalists were all from Neshoba County.

"Of the 10, four were from outside the county," he said.

The field of applicants are from Philadelphia, Nettleton, Little Rock, Cullman, Ala., and Collinsville, among others, Young has said.

Young also noted he did not try to recruit any particular person for the job.

"We just opened it up to whoever wanted to apply," he said. "We hoped to get the best for the city and make the department the best in the area."

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen interviewed the last two applicants last week during a special called board meeting.

The city has been without a police chief since former Chief Bill Cox resigned on Aug. 30 to take over as head of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Olive Branch Police Department.

A 10-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police force, Cox returned to investigations as a major with the Olive Branch force, calling it his longtime passion.

Assistant Police Chief Julian Greer has been leading the Philadelphia Police Department in the interim.