PROVO — And then there were three.

Following a nationwide search launched in January, Provo City has narrowed the field for a new police chief to three candidates, including Rick Gregory, of Bear, Del.; Gary Hicken, of Lindon; and Steve Roos, of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

A field of 60 applicants was quickly cut to 38 after Citygate Associates, a government consulting firm hired by the city, screened the applicant's qualifications pertaining to education and law enforcement experience. A public records review was performed on the 17 highest-ranking candidates who were interviewed and narrowed to seven.

An advisory board created by Provo City Mayor John Curtis interviewed the seven and recommended Gregroy, Hicken and Roos.

"I'm satisfied that we have conducted a very thorough search, and that we are considering the best possible candidates for the job," Curtis said. "We will continue to go about this carefully and methodically to make sure it is done right."

The mayor will evaluate the top three candidates through extensive interviews and reference checks. The finalist will then undergo a comprehensive background check and a polygraph test. Consent of the Provo Municipal Council is also required.

Gregory currently works as state director for U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and previously served as the chief administrative officer for New Castle County, Del. He has approximately 30 years of experience in public safety and graduated from the FBI National Academy. He is originally from Utah and still has family in the area.

Hicken is currently the police chief in Saratoga Springs and has approximately 34 years of police service. He previously served as the police chief of Buena Park, Calif. and is a California Peace Officer Standards and Training Command College graduate.

Roos has approximately 29 years of experience in the Idaho Falls police department, where he has served as police chief since 2007. Roos holds bachelor's and master's degrees and attended the FBI National Academy and Brigham Young University. He also has family in the Provo area.

Previous police chief J. Craig Geslison retired Jan. 1, amid an agency audit following a series of cases involving officer misconduct and complaints about the integrity and leadership of the department. He was one of the highest paid police chiefs in the state, with an annual salary of more than $200,000.

Provo police Capt. David Bolda is serving as the interim police chief. Curtis did not state when he expects to name a new chief but has, in the past, said it would take some time to select the right candidate.