Council gets say creating profile for new police chief
City Council had its say Monday. Tonight the community can voice input to the process of selecting Henderson’s new police chief.
During a work session in conjunction with the regularly scheduled meeting of the council, the city’s leaders were given understanding of the hiring process and they gave input to creating the profile desired.
Tonight at 6 in the council chambers of City Hall, the community will participate in the same style of forum. An outline of the hiring process will be explained, and citizens will have the chance to give their input toward the chief following Keith Sidwell.
Sidwell retired May 31. Capt. Marcus Barrow is serving as interim chief.
The city manager, Ray Griffin, is in charge of the search and has responsibility for making the hire. The council was solicited for input, just as have been the members of the police department and the community.
Griffin contracted Management and Personnel Services Group out of Raleigh. Becky Veazey, president of the company, is leading the forums. The assessment center will gather the profile traits desired and help identify finalists for the city.
“We will be doing essentially the same thing tomorrow night that we are doing tonight,” Veazey said. “Our goal is to find the very best possible person for this position, find the very best match.”
City staff is hopeful civic group leaders, business leaders, church leaders and active members of Community Watch and Crime Stoppers will be at tonight’s meeting.
The focus group process is set up to identify knowledge, skills, abilities and characteristics of the ideal profile through brainstorming and then assigning priorities to the long list of desired traits.
“Those are some of the values of doing an assessment process,” Veazey said. “A definition of success is meeting the expectations of all the stakeholders.”
After input from council members resulted in poster-sized pages listing 17 traits, council members identified six priorities:
• An ability to connect with the community.
• A friendly command presence.
• Ability to disagree without holding any grudges.
• Well versed in professional law enforcement.
• A people person who can work well with communities.
• Trained in sensitivity for dealing with lower-income communities.
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