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 Mayor's Police Chief Search Committee meets, outlines process 


Mayor's Office

Mayor’s Police Chief Search Committee Meets, Develops Criteria and Timeline

8/24/2009  |  Contact:                         Sarah Erkmann, 343-7103                     

Mayor Dan Sullivan met with his police chief search committee last Thurs. to develop priorities and a timeline for sending candidate recommendations to the mayor. 

The committee, which consists of seven community members, received a briefing about the process so far and discussed several unique opportunities and challenges associated with hiring a new chief for the Anchorage Police Department (APD). (Note: these are listed on page 2).

The mayor laid out his priorities for hiring a police chief and informed the committee where their recommendations would be most helpful. Among the priorities set by the mayor were extensive experience in police management; an impeccable reputation for integrity; a desire to work with the city’s various communities; and the ability to create and implement APD’s strategic and tactical direction.

“This is a critically important task,” said Mayor Sullivan. “Public safety is a high priority, and I’m grateful for the committee’s willingness to help me find just the right person for this position.”

            The following timeline was established:

•           Recruitment: Resumes and cover letters are due by Sept. 8, 2009. Advertisements have been placed with the municipality’s employee relations department and online with the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

•           Evaluation: Within 30 days of beginning work, the committee will develop rating sheets and interview questions, and prioritize applications after evaluating cover letters and resumes; analyze written responses to provided questions; and review either in-person interviews (should the candidate elect to travel to the city) or interviews conducted via telephone and/or video conferencing. Reference checks will be performed, and the committee may advise that more extensive background checks be conducted via site visits to the communities where the candidate previously lived and worked.

•           Selection: Within 30 days of completing the evaluation process, the committee will formally advise the mayor as to its top (number TBD) recommendations– applicant names will become public at this point. The mayor then will conduct on-site candidate interviews and follow-up on any remaining issues or questions raised by the committee.

Once the mayor makes his initial selection, an offer will be extended to the applicant pending results of a background check, psychological assessment, polygraph test, and drug screen.

•           Notification: Upon completion of the above process the selected applicant will be notified and extended an offer. Once the candidate accepts, notification will occur in the following order: search committee, APD employees, and media for distribution to the public.

Among the challenges identified by the committee:

•           Perception exists that the position is already filled and that the committee/hiring process is a formality.

•           Recruiting from outside Alaska puts the city at risk for hiring someone who does not intend to stay or whose family dislikes the state’s unique weather conditions.

•           The background check for an outside applicant will have to be fairly extensive in order to avoid choosing someone who is attractive only on paper.

Among the advantages identified by the committee:

•           The APD enjoys a stellar reputation for integrity and advanced police work both locally and nationally.

•           Alaska still holds appeal for many in the Lower 48.

•           Someone from outside would likely bring a fresh perspective to the job, and someone local would bring years of expertise in working at the department and/or across state agencies.

The committee also agreed to evaluate applicants using the criteria set forth by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. They are:

The contemporary police chief is properly expected to lead. He or she is expected to:

•           Promote professional ethics and values

•           Foster public support for the agency

•           Ensure that the public is satisfied with police services

•           Establish objectives

•           Achieve those objectives successfully

•           Create and maintain an effective and motivated police force

•           Manage resources productively

•           Observe professional police principles

•           Function productively with other municipal agencies

•           Remain accountable to the governing body

The committee will meet again after the Sept. 8 deadline for application submission.

Photo of the search committee is attached. Left to right: Sharon Chamard, Ron Otte, Carmen Gutierrez, Mayor Dan Sullivan, Ron McGee, Mike Porcaro, Chuck Anderson. Not pictured: Marc Langland.Police

Chief Search Committee Photo

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