WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The City announced its final two candidates in its search for a new Wichita police chief.

The final two candidates are Mario Knapp and Joseph Sullivan.

City Manager Robert Layton will be in charge of making the final hire.

City council members say they plan to play a very active role in the next chief of police hire for Wichita.

“I’m in a search for the best candidate for Wichita, so all options are on the table,” Mike Hoheisel, Wichita City Council District Three, said. “We also need somebody who can come in and clean up some of the things that have gone unheeded in the police department right now. And we also need somebody who can be a bridge builder between different segments of our police department.”

Hoheisel says he has just begun studying the two finalists brought forward by the city manager. He also says he will not hesitate to ask the city manager to go back to the drawing board if the current finalists are not the right fit.

“We are just beginning to really go in-depth studying these two,” Hoheisel said.

Jeff Blubaugh, Wichita City Council District Four, says he is optimistic the two candidates could be the right fit.

He says the job needs a very specific skill set with recent questions within the Wichita Police Department on the heels of two current and one former deputy chief threatening a lawsuit.

“We need that level of expertise coming in there, even though they don’t necessarily know Wichita like the rest of us,” Blubaugh said about bringing in the next chief. “Bringing in somebody with a skill set, being able to hire somebody that can solve high-level problems, I think is a much-needed add.”

He said the current WPD staff is doing a good job. He and others on the council are looking closely at both Knapp and Sullivan and their experience.

According to the City of Wichita, Knapp joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1994 and served there for more than 26 years, reaching the rank of police major. Knapp is now an executive with a private-public safety technologies company.

The City says Sullivan is a former deputy of the commissioner of patrol operations for the Philadelphia Police Department and has more than 40 years of public safety experience. Sullivan is now working in business development for a private-public safety equipment firm.

“I want to thank the work of our Police Chief Search Review Committee,” City Manager Robert Layton said. “Their guidance and input has been especially helpful throughout the process and has significantly helped shape this decision. I am very pleased that we have two outstanding candidates to be our next chief. They both have had long, exemplary careers at almost every level of police work and can bring a fresh perspective and extensive public safety experience to the department that will benefit our City.”

Wichita residents will have the opportunity to meet both of the candidates and ask questions at a public forum. It is taking place in Lotus Hall at Botanica, 701 Amidon St, at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

For more information on the Police Chief Search Review Committee, click here.