Updated 03/17/16 – 10:20 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Police Board has revealed two outsiders and one top deputy at the Chicago Police Department as the three finalists for the next police superintendent.

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At a special meeting downtown on Thursday Police Board President Lori Lightfoot announced the board was sending three finalists to Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Eugene Williams, chief of the Bureau of Support Services at the Chicago Police Department; Cedric Alexander, public safety director of DeKalb County, Georgia; and Anne Kirkpatrick, retired police chief of Spokane, Washington.

Alexander, 61, has been DeKalb County Public Safety Director for three years. He has been in law enforcement for 39 years, and has a doctorate in clinical psychology. During his career, he has served as police chief in Rochester, New York; as federal security director at the Department of Homeland Security; as deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services; and as a member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Kirkpatrick, 56, retired as Spokane police chief two years ago after 16 years at the helm. After she retired, she began training law enforcement executives at the FBI’s leadership program. She has been in law enforcement for 33 years, starting as a patrol officer in Memphis, Tennessee. She has a master’s degree in counseling and a law degree.

Williams, 62, has been with the Chicago Police Department for 36 years, including the past 15 at the command level. Prior to running the Bureau of Support Services — the department’s administrative arm — he also served as chief of patrol, and was a finalist for the top job in 2011, but Emanuel went with Garry McCarthy instead.

In announcing the finalists, Lightfoot acknowledged the stormy atmosphere in Chicago in the wake of the Laquan McDonald police shooting scandal, and the civil unrest in the wake of the release of dashcam video showing an officer shooting the teenager 16 times in October 2014.

Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in McDonald’s death, and McCarthy was fired a week after the video’s release, as Emanuel acknowledged public trust in the department had been “shaken and eroded.”

McCarthy’s ouster led to then-first deputy superintendent John Escalante taking over as interim superintendent while the Police Board began searching for McCarthy’s permanent successor.

“This was no ordinary search, because these are not ordinary times. In thinking about the selection process, the board’s sole focus was on selecting the best candidates without regard to residency, race, or prior experience with the department,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot noted this was the first time the board directly engaged the public during its search, by hosting a special public meeting to seek community input.

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“I want to thank members of the public for your passion, for your candor, and for the hope expressed that we could all make a meaningful difference in these turbulent times,” she said.

Before the board announced its list of finalists, Emanuel spoke to WBBM Newsradio about what he’s looking for in the city’s next top cop.

The mayor will review the three finalists, and either nominate one for approval by the City Council, or ask the board to come up with a new list of finalists.

In any event, Emanuel said the person who will get the job must have a few major talents – including the ability to bridge the gap between CPD and the community, being able to reduce gun violence, and being able to improve officer morale.

“It comes down to the character of the individual, their experience, and their capacity to meet the goals we have,” Emanuel said in a phone interview.

The mayor said it’s less important whether the finalist comes within the Chicago Police Department or from another city. He said there are advantages and disadvantages of being an outsider or an insider.

“When Bill Bratton moved to Los Angeles, he was an outsider, and he did a good job, and I would say to the people, we’re looking for talent,” he said.

Emanuel said a new police superintendent and thousands of good officers can’t cut crime alone. He said it takes the state legislature making tougher gun laws, and providing funding for initiatives like after-school programs, and courts requiring criminals to serve their time instead of getting out early.

The Chicago Police Board conducted a three-month nationwide search for a new superintendent after Garry McCarthy was fired in December, amid the fallout over the Laquan McDonald shooting scandal.

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Notably absent on the list of finalists is Interim Police Supt. John Escalante, who was interested in the permanent job. On Thursday night, he said he respects the board’s process and will help with the transition when a successor is picked.