The City of Columbus formally began its search for the next Chief of Police by announcing members of a search advisory committee, the release of a Request for Proposal for a search firm and a firm to handle community engagement in the process.
“We have an opportunity with the selection of the next chief of police to help assure that she or he is the best possible candidate whether they are internal or external to the Division,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “I am looking for a change agent who will pursue innovation and excellence in policing, someone who will use the recommendations of the resident-led Safety Advisory Commission as a roadmap to guide the Division. I am looking for someone committed to increasing diversity among police officers, aligning how we police with community expectations, and approaching this position as an opportunity to serve and protect every person in every neighborhood.”
Members of the search advisory committee include:
• Dawn Tyler Lee, Chair, Deputy Chief of Staff of External Affairs in the Office of the Mayor
• Dallas Baldwin, Franklin County Sheriff
• Dee Debenport, Coordinator, Merion Village Block Watch
• Stephanie Hightower, President, Columbus Urban League
• Reverend Dr. Jefferey P. Kee, New Faith Baptist Church of Christ
• Kenny Ramos, Retired Sergeant, Columbus Division of Police
• Siobhan Boyd-Nelson, Development Director, Equality Ohio
• Pastor Brian Williams, Hope City House of Prayer
“Members of the advisory committee will help guide the process of finding the best candidates for our community,” said Lee. “Their duties will include helping select a community engagement firm, search firm, interviewing candidates, recommending finalists for the mayors consideration and continuing to support the chief, once hired, to help ensure his or her success. I am excited about the diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds this talented group of community leaders will bring to the search process.”
The committee will meet for the first time this week. One of its first tasks will be to hire a firm to manage community outreach on the search process.
“Community engagement will be the cornerstone of our chief of police search,” said Mayor Ginther. “In the coming weeks, we will be inviting residents to share their thoughts about what they would like to see in our next police chief. We will be engaging a variety of people in a variety of ways. We want to hear from students, seniors and everyone in between.”
A Request for Proposal for the search firm is expected to be released this week. The committee anticipates selecting a firm by the end of May and having them on board by July.
The first phase of community engagement will begin in May and last through June. Candidate recruitment will be complete by the end of October, followed by interviews and additional community engagement. A new chief is expected to be selected by the end of the year.
“As I have said many times, I have great confidence in the Columbus Division of Police, and I believe our officers are among the best in the country,” said Mayor Ginther. “The officers and the residents of Columbus deserve the very best in their next Chief of Police.”