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Mayor John Cooper announces police chief selection roadmap

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Mayor John Cooper has put forth a roadmap for selecting Metro Nashville’s new chief of police. The process Cooper has created is designed to engage residents and neighborhoods from across our community to identify the qualities needed in our next chief of police.

“It lays the groundwork for a robust, nationwide search for a new police executive informed by expert advice on recruiting and 21st century policing principles,” said Cooper. “The goal of this process is to select a new police chief who will make Nashville a model of community engagement and policing innovation.”

This process will provide for extensive, countywide community engagement. Mayor Cooper is inviting all Nashvillians to participate in a brief online survey about their priorities for the next chief of police through the Hub, Nashville’s 311 system. The survey includes the following five questions:

  1. What are the three most important qualities or skills you would like to see in Nashville’s next police chief?
  2. What would you like to see the next chief accomplish immediately? Over the next 2-3 years?
  3. What are the most important public safety needs in your neighborhood?
  4. Please share suggestions you have for improving police services.
  5. What is your home zip code?

Directions to the Hub survey can also be found on the Metro website. Residents who lack access to the Internet will be able to call 311 and complete the survey by phone.

In addition to the Hub survey, the Mayor’s Office will reach out to neighborhood associations to better understand the safety needs and priorities in their neighborhoods. The Mayor’s Office will also conduct engagement sessions with community groups and with police officers.

Using input from the survey and from these community engagement sessions, the Mayor’s Office will work with the Human Resources Department (HR) to craft a job posting for the position of chief of police and to develop interview questions for the review committee and the interview panel, as well as for Cooper. In mid-August, the position will be posted on Metro Nashville Human Resources’ website for a period of 30 days and advertised with various community organizations:

In August, Metro Human Resources (HR) will assemble a review committee of diverse individuals with backgrounds in law enforcement and community oversight to assist the department as it scores and rates applicants for the chief of police position, in accordance with Nashville Civil Service Guidelines. The review committee will then review the top tiers of qualified candidates and recommend candidates who should advance to the interview process. Metro HR will then forward the committee’s recommended list of finalists to an interview panel that includes a variety of community voices and partners.

Finalists advancing to the interview process will interview in Nashville with the interview panel and with Mayor Cooper. With input from the interview panel, Cooper will select the next chief of police, in keeping with guidelines provided by the Metro Nashville Charter.

The process is expected to be completed sometime in October.

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