DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax has updated Mayor Johnson and council members on the search for a new police chief, saying he will select new chief by the end of December.
However, Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said he doesn’t want the search to be rushed.
“I think we should have an exhaustive search. If we’re really doing a national search then there’s no way you can get it done in 60 days,” Mata said.
“Back in 2016, when we were interviewing for chief and Chief Hall was ultimately given the position – it was 7 years as a command staff, it was a masters degree and it national certifications by the FBI, executive training school or something to that level. We have since dropped that completely, that requirement and have dropped it from 7 years to 5 years and have completely dropped the requirement of having a masters degree… so with the situation we are in.. we shouldn’t be lowering standards,” he added.
According to the new letter from Broadnax, there are 36 candidates who have applied and been screened by a search firm hired by the city.
The top candidates will be selected later this week and will be asked to participate in the next round starting next week. The process includes six stakeholder panels and interviews with each candidate. Additionally, Mayor Eric Johnson and the city council will also interview the candidates, which will be streamed live across Dallas cable and social media channels.
Here’s what his letter to them said:
Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council,
I’m pleased to share with you the next steps of the search process to select the next Dallas Police Chief, which – despite being all-virtual to slow the spread of COVID-19 – is nearing successful completion.
As you will recall, we began in October by soliciting proposals from qualified and experienced executive search firms to conduct a national search. Through a competitive process, Gary Peterson with Public Sector Search and Consulting was selected to lead the search based on his vast experience in conducting Police Chief searches in dozens of municipalities including Nashville, Sacramento, Seattle and San Francisco.
Once selected, Mr. Peterson first met with the Mayor and members of the City Council to solicit their input and feedback on the qualities and characteristics desired in the next Chief. This information was used to create a candidate profile for the recruitment brochure. The City Council Public Safety Committee received monthly briefings regarding the search process beginning in October and the recruitment officially began in early November.
On November 5, we also launched a community-wide survey in both English and Spanish to seek community and public feedback on the next Chief. We were pleased to have received over 4,500 responses from residents.
To close the digital divide, we also set up a phone line to receive community input in English or Spanish; we received calls from 23 numbers with only 2 providing feedback. Finally, an internal survey was also conducted; we received more than 1,000 responses from the men and women from the Dallas Police Department.
The results of the community survey are attached, and the following general themes emerged:
• Desired Qualifications include a track record of reducing crime, building trust and having an open and transparent leadership style. Experience recruiting and retaining quality personnel and understanding the history of policing in the US, including racism and bias were essential.
• Priorities for the Department include reducing violent crime, holding officers/staff accountable, building trust and strengthening community partnerships.
• Leadership Qualities included an individual who is honest and has integrity, someone who will hold employees accountable, problem solving ability and is strategic thinker.
As of today, 36 people from across the United States applied for the position and were screened by recruiter Mr. Peterson based on the input from the City Council, community and department surveys, and the City Manager. Later this week, the City Manager will invite selected top candidates to participate in the interview phase of the process, which is scheduled to begin next week. To solicit a broad spectrum of additional input on the finalists, the interview process includes six stakeholder panels which will meet and interview each candidate. Organizations representing various community and stakeholder groups were invited by the City Manager to provide a representative to sit on one of the following six panels. A complete list of invited organizations is attached.
• Neighborhood and Business
• Faith Based and Non-Profit
• Police Oversight and Cultural Diversity
• Police Oversight and Law Enforcement Partners
• Police Employee Associations
• City Executive Staff
Additionally, the Chair of the City Council Public Safety Committee has requested from the Mayor and City Council Members questions to ask each finalist in video interviews which Mr. Peterson will capture to make available to the City Council and the public. The recorded interviews will premiere live across all City of Dallas cable and social media channels next week. Following the community surveys, stakeholder panels and video interviews, the City Manager will select final candidates for interviews that he will conduct personally. The City Manager intends to select and appoint a new Chief by the end of December.
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