CHICAGO (CBS) — It could be one of the most important decisions of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel: the next police superintendent.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has learned that candidates have been narrowed down from the dozens who applied to less than a handful.

The Mayor-elect has to choose between a group of insiders and outsiders. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

The top insiders include:

–Eugene Williams, the current chief of patrol, a former district commander and a minister with close ties to clergy.

–Al Wysinger, deputy chief of detectives, who also is a former district commander and specialist in gang crimes.

Among the outsiders:

–Gil Kerlikowske, current White House “drug czar,” who headed police departments in Buffalo, N.Y. and Seattle.

–Garry McCarthy, Newark, N.J.’s police chief, a former New York City police commander who was also a candidate for the Chicago job in 2003, when Phil Cline was selected.  At the time, he criticized the process as being rigged by City Hall in favor of insiders.

Roseanna Ander, a University of Chicago criminologist, says experience is the most important quality in a superintendent candidate.

“We need someone who’s actually run a department. This should not be an on-the-job training opportunity,” she said.

Former Police Supt. Richard Brzeczek has his own idea of the most important quality: local ties.

“If they can’t find just one person to come in here and run that department from within, that to me is a serious problem,” he said.

Brzeczek says City Hall interference has been a huge problem for two decades now. From the Cabinet choices Emanuel has made so far seems to indicate he wants strong, independent people who will do the job he’s hired them to do.

Another decision for Mayor Emanuel is how much to pay his new top cop. The last superintendent, outsider Jody Weis, a former FBI agent, got more than $300,000 annually — more than mayor himself.

Contributing: CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall