Looking Outside for Assistant Police Chiefs

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SPD badgeEarlier this week, Chief O’Toole announced that she is opening up the five assistant chief positions in the police department to a competitive application process. Within the department, members at the rank of lieutenant and above can apply. In an effort to attract more talent and enhance the competitive pool, she is also advertising the positions across the country.

Last January the City Council lifted a longstanding restriction on recruiting outside candidates via legislation sponsored by Councilmember Harrell and myself. As I wrote a year ago, achieving truly sustainable reform in the police department requires strong leadership.  The Department and the City cannot afford to exclude highly qualified candidates from consideration; the stakes are too high.

The Chief’s decision sends a signal to her officers that they deserve to be led by the best and the brightest. And if they want to rise to leadership themselves, they must perform at a high level. This call and challenge should energize and inspire our officers.