KING CITY, Calif. -

The search for a new police chief is ramping up in King City.  City leaders hope to have the position filled by the beginning of next year.  On Tuesday night, NewsChannel 5 found out why an executive search firm is being hired to look for the right person for a difficult job.

City leaders tell me they're setting the bar high.  That's because the city is in the middle of dealing with an alleged towing scheme scandal involving a former acting police chief and another former chief facing embezzlement and perjury charges.

Under interim chief Dennis Hegwood, the rebuilding in King City is already underway, with meetings and more officer training.  Hegwood took over when the Monterey County District Attorney's Office investigation unfolded earlier this year.  The city selected four community leaders to look for a new chief.  Ken Reese said he's looking for key attributes.

"Character, chemistry and competency are far more important than where they live," Reese said.

The group said it reviewed two proposals from two hiring firms with expertise in law enforcement and decided to move ahead with Avery and Company, at a cost of $21,000.

"They've given us a 16-week timetable and some of that, there may be a little contraction in that or a little bit of growth, depending on, you know just how things go," said city manager Michael Powers.

Reese said the next step is pulling together recruitment materials with specific requirements.

"Gather more concrete documents, expectations, requirements, things like that," Reese said.

Powers said they're hoping for someone who's bilingual and the ability to connect with the city's majority Hispanic population.  

The new chief will also have to tackle the city's problem with violent crime.  In fact on Tuesday night, police said a man was shot at, but not hit in the 600 block of North Mildred Avenue.  The Monterey County Sheriff's Department is assisting the department with its investigation.