(EAST HELENA) East Helena leaders have selected a temporary leader for the city’s police department.

The city council unanimously selected Bill Harrington as acting police chief during their meeting Tuesday night. Harrington is currently a patrol officer with the East Helena Police Department.

East Helena Mayor Jamie Schell said outgoing chief Dale Aschim recommended Harrington for the interim post. Aschim, who was named police chief in 2007, announced his resignation in early December. His last day on the job was Dec. 29.

Schell said the city opened up the hiring process for a permanent police chief last month, and several candidates turned in applications. He said city leaders are working internally and with the Helena Police Department and Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office to determine how to move forward.

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Schell said he expects a permanent police chief to be chosen in several months, possibly by spring.