BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Battle Creek is looking for feedback on two candidates vying to be the next fire chief.

The city held an event Wednesday night to introduce them to the public. The two finalists are Bill Beaty and Jeff VanderWiere.

Beaty is the current deputy chief for the all-volunteer Divernon, Illinois Fire Protection District, while VanderWiere is the current deputy fire chief for the Portage Department of Public Safety – Fire Division.

Both shared why they thought they should get the job during Wednesday’s community event.

“As I mentioned, collaboration is big and important to me, accountability, … the people that you work with that work for you and under you, those are all important to me, those were things that were communicated that Battle Creek is looking for,” Beaty said. “I think that my skill set, my education, my background, is a fit for what Battle Creek is looking for.”

“During my time here today in battle creek, it’s clear that there are several needs that need to be addressed within the fire department,” VanderWiere said. “All I can tell you is show you my body of work over the last 26 years, ask you to trust me, ask you to understand that my sole goal for the … Battle Creek Fire Department is to make things just a little bit better.”

Before starting his speech, VanderWiere also addressed an incident from when he was a Kalamazoo public safety officer in 2009. While making an arrest a man spit on him, and VanderWiere punched him in the face twice.

He said he’s learned from the experience.

“I have acknowledged this mistake on my part, and have moved on with my career. … I encourage you to evaluate my whole body of work over … the last 26 years of service to the public safety community,” he said. “As a deputy chief I don’t dwell too much in the past, but I will learn from it. And I learned from this incident as well, but I do not let it affect who I am, what I stand for and the accomplishments that I have achieved.”

The city of Battle Creek will look over feedback from the community before making a decision.