Committee to Profile the Ideal Police Chief

City officials will form a citizens committee to help select a new police chief, but the group's scope will be limited to describing what qualities the community wants in candidates for the high-profile post.

The unanimous decision by the City Council last week ended a disagreement between Councilman Michael Alvarez, who had suggested in June that a committee help choose among finalists for the job, and City Manager David L. Rudat, who wanted the group simply to create a profile of the perfect candidate.

Under the final plan, each of the five council members will choose a resident to sit on the seven-member committee. Filling out the group will be one delegate chosen by the Chamber of Commerce and one by the Economic Development Partnership, another city-based group.

The committee will forward a report to the city manager detailing what philosophy, skills and personality they want to see in the new chief.

Rudat said that any participation in the interview process would jeopardize the confidentiality of candidates, some of whom will likely be police chiefs from other cities. The council, which represents the community, will have the final word anyway, he argued.

Once complete, the profile will go to a professional search recruiter. Council members agreed to fund the search for as much as $33,000.

Personnel Director Steven V. Pham said city employees could do the search. But, he added, it would be best to bring in an outsider because the firing of Police Chief John R. Robertson in February, for alleged insubordination and other complaints, was so controversial.

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