Now that a search committee for a new Suffolk County police commissioner has sorted through about 75 applications and finished interviewing about a dozen candidates, it's time for the end game.

Starting as soon as this week, Long Island Association president Kevin Law and his committee, formed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, will come to a consensus on three finalists to be presented to Bellone this month. Presenting the county executive a choice of several top candidates, instead of just one name, makes good sense.

Given controversies such as the unsolved Gilgo Beach murders and a federal investigation of how the department has handled hate crimes against Hispanics, plus the difficulty of managing a department through tough union contract issues, this is a crucial choice. Bellone has to make the right call.