MOAB — Moab is reportedly getting close to finding a full-time police chief.
But whether Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder will be offered that job or leave his current post to head south was unknown Friday, despite several swirling rumors.
Moab has been seeking a new police chief since September, when Chief Mike Navarre resigned after 16 years with the department.
Moab City Manager David Everitt said the city has received more than 40 applications from potential chiefs throughout the country. Although he declined to say how many of those applicants the city had narrowed its choice down to, sources have confirmed to the Deseret News that Winder is among them.
Winder did not reply to texts or calls from the Deseret News this week. The sheriff has been in Washington, D.C., for law enforcement memorial events and a family vacation. He is scheduled to be back in the office Monday.
Other candidates, according to Moab City Council meeting minutes from April, include Parawon Police Chief Ken Carpenter, and Keith McPheeters, the former deputy police chief of Farmington, New Mexico.
Everitt said Moab has experienced unprecedented visitor growth in recent years. The city now receives more than 2 million visitors each year who enjoy the outdoor recreation the region has to offer.
Because of that, Everitt said the city is looking to hire a chief who has experience in large event management and in balancing a budget.
If Winder is offered and accepts the Moab position, the Democratic Party would select a person to fulfill Winder's remaining 18 months as Salt Lake County sheriff. Winder is currently serving his third term as sheriff.
Contributing: Sean Moody