Matthew Clark, the Minneapolis Police Department’s second in command who oversees the day-to-day operations, is a finalist for the police chief job in Bellevue, Wash..

Clark, who was appointed assistant chief by Chief Janeé Harteau shortly after she took the job in 2012, is scheduled to meet tonight with community members and city staff in the Seattle suburb. He is one of five finalists to head the 178-officer department, which polices a city of nearly 130,000.

The other short-list candidates are: Deputy Chief Jim Jolliffe, of the Bellevue Police Department; Chief Mitch McCann, of the Simi Valley (Calif.) Police Department; Assistant Chief Nicholas Metz, of the Seattle Police Department; and Assistant Chief Raul Munguia, of the Austin Police Department.

Bellevue spokeswoman Emily Christensen said the finalists, who were first targeted by a search firm, will go through a series of interviews today and tomorrow before a final decision is made. The city hopes to have a new chief on board by early next year, she said.

A former volunteer firefighter, Clark joined the department in 1993 and rose through the ranks, making sergeant in 1999 and then lieutenant in 2007, according to an online biography. At the time of his appointment, he commanded the 5th Precinct in southwest Minneapolis.

The online profile states that his career accomplishments include developing the department’s goal and performance program and managing the chief’s Citizen’s Advisory Council, aimed at rebuilding trust with the community. Clark earned his bachelor's degree in law enforcement and public administration at Minnesota State University-Mankato and master's in public administration and human services from Concordia University in St. Paul.

If he is offered and accepts the Bellevue job, Clark would become the second command level officer to step down in the last year, joining Eddie Frizell, who took a leave of absence from his position as deputy chief in order to run for Hennepin County sheriff.