Mayor Jon Mitchell says he's in the early stages of beginning a search for New Bedford's next Chief of Police.

Speaking on his weekly radio program, Mitchell says he's begun conversations about forming a screening committee. "As I do for every department head hiring, we have screening committees. And we'll just figure out who's on it and what the timetable is, and whether we'll look at outside candidates or not," said Mitchell.

Mitchell says he would prefer to hire someone from within the New Bedford Police Department.

The Mayor did not give a timetable as to when a committee would be fully formed.