Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen is downplaying a weeks-old New Orleans television report identifying him as one of the prospects for that city's next top cop.

In a statement issued late Sunday, Mullen said he has "not applied for nor spoken with anyone associated with the search" currently being conducted in New Orleans.

The television report, dated March 15 by station WDSU, quotes unnamed sources as saying Mullen was one of a couple of names "getting consideration" by the mayor-elect's task force looking for candidates to become police superintendent.

Other, more recent, New Orleans media reports said that as many as 75 people have applied for the post.

"The New Orleans Police Department is one of the 56 major city police agencies in the United States and if considered, I would view it as an honor," Mullen's statement said. "However, I am already serving in one of the best U.S. cities and with a group of dedicated and committed law enforcement professionals who are working hard to make our community and state the best place to live and visit.

"I am proud to lead the Charleston Police Department and look forward to our continued success," the statement said.

Mullen was announced as Charleston's new police chief in August 2006, succeeding Reuben Greenberg, who retired. Mullen had been deputy chief of the Virginia Beach Police Department before arriving in Charleston.

Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans' mayor-elect, earlier had said he wanted to choose a new department head before his May 3 inauguration, though that does not appear likely. The search is for a successor to retiring Superintendent Warren Riley, who will depart when New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's administration ends in the next few days.

Mullen said his department has made great strides and is working on other initiatives to improve service in Charleston.

"My family and I love Charleston and feel very blessed to live and work in such a wonderful city."