Capt. Mark Kaufman is serving as interim police chief, replacing 27-year Chief Dennis Brandal.
In the fire department, Lt. Brian Sears has taken over in the interim for now-retired Chief Brian Putnam, also with more than 20 years of service, Bellevue safety-service director Jeff Crosby said.
The civil service commission will host promotional tests for both departments, allowing the most senior officers the first shot at taking over the helm for police and fire.
The test for police chief will follow after the department hires two new officers, to fill vacancies left by Brandal and Capt. Matt Johnson, who retired earlier this year, Crosby said.
Kaufman received his captain’s promotion at the beginning of October, and was the logical choice to ask to step in temporarily.
“I’m figuring it out, day by day, what’s going on,” Kaufman said this week, freshly seated in the chief’s chair, his desktop cleared as he sifted through the drawers’ contents.
He has no major plans serving in the interim, besides hiring new officers to bring the staff up to a full roster.
With changes in the 911 system, the department will also be hiring a new dispatcher and will be taking over those duties for the fire department, which for now relies on the on-duty lieutenant to send firefighters on calls, Crosby said.
“We’ve been working on it for a couple of years,” he said. “With upgrades to the system, new phone system, it can be dispatched more easily.”