Opinion: Police chief search questioned

Matt Westerhold
Aug 11, 2012

Excerpt from Westerhold's Between the Lines column in tomorrow's Sunday Register:

Sandusky city commissioner Dee Cole contends the city's police chief search process was tainted and local candidates from the Perkins Police Department were inappropriately excluded from consideration for personal reasons that destroyed the integrity of the process.

Cole's pushing to have the search committee revamped and wants all of the applications reviewed "blindly" with no names attached. In that way, she said, residents can be assured the best person is selected in a process that is fair and free of any bias the personal histories any of the members of the committee might have. 

Lt. John Orzech, who is the only local candidate to make the list of finalists, in my opinion, would be a fine choice to lead the Sandusky Police Department. The other four candidates selected for further review might also be worthy of consideration, but if the process was tainted, as Cole suggests, then this long, slow journey will have been a waste of time and the city will be right back to where it started.

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Comments

God Of Thunder

Thank you wiredmama...I appreciate that...And lmao about the pulling of the comments!!

Mum-of-One

Why even bother having a Chief?

DGMutley

 http://www.conwaygreene.com/Sandusky/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=main-h.htm&2.0

The following are excerpts from the Charter regarding hiring the police chief or fire chief that may be of interest:

     When a vacancy occurs in the office or position of Chief of Police, or the office or position of Chief of Fire, a Selection Board shall be appointed. In each such situation the Selection Board shall be composed of the President of the City Commission or a member of the City Commission designated by said President, who shall serve as the Chairman of the Selection Board, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission of the City of Sandusky, Ohio, or a member of said Civil Service Commission designated by said Chairman, and three (3) other resident electors of the City of Sandusky who are not officers or employees of said City who shall be appointed by the President of the City Commission with the advice and consent of the City Commission. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Selection Board in each said instance to examine, and certify to the City Manager of the City of Sandusky, Ohio, the name or names of individuals who are eligible for appointment to the office or position involved.

     

         

     When a vacancy occurs in either office, the City Manager of the City of Sandusky, Ohio, promptly shall report the fact of said vacancy to the President and members of the City Commission. Concurrently the City Manager shall take appropriate steps to notify such individuals who are qualified to apply for consideration for appointment to said vacant office or position, of the existence of said vacancy, and that applications for consideration for appointment to the same may be filed in the office of the City Manager up to and within a period of time to be determined by the City Manager not less than ten (10) days after the notice of said vacancy is effected as required hereby. After the expiration of said application period, the City Manager shall promptly deliver to the Chairman of the Selection Board all of the applications which have been timely and appropriately filed in the office of the City Manager.

               

     Any active full-time law enforcement officer with not less than ten (10) years of prior active full-time law enforcement service, and holding the permanent rank of Lieutenant or higher, as of the date of the application of said officer hereunder, shall be qualified and eligible to so apply and to be considered for appointment in relation to a vacancy in the position or office of Chief of the Department or Division of Police.

               

     Any active full-time firefighter with not less than ten (10) years of prior active full-time service as a firefighter, and holding the permanent rank of Captain or higher, as of the date of the application of said officer hereunder, shall be qualified and eligible to so apply and to be considered for appointment in relation to a vacancy in the position or office of Chief of the Department or Division of Fire.

               

     Applications shall be in written form and shall be personally executed by the applicant. They shall contain the information required by this section, the address of the applicant, and such other pertinent information as the City Manager may require. Applications shall be submitted on forms prescribed by the City Manager. Each applicant as part of the application process shall attest to the truth of the representations and information set forth in the application thereof, and that said applicant is qualified and eligible to make such application.

               

     The Selection Board, on the basis of merit and fitness, shall determine the qualifications of each applicant hereunder by administering such written examinations, psychological examinations and evaluations, oral assessments and examinations, and such other examinations, evaluations, and/or screening processes and procedures as said Board deems appropriate and practicable in determining the relative capacity and abilities of the applicants to discharge the duties and responsibilities of the position or office to which they aspire. Thereafter, on the basis of its evaluation and determination, the Selection Board shall certify to the City Manager the names of not more than three (3) applicants who are eligible to serve in the office or position which is vacant and to which they aspire whom the Board deems best qualified and able to perform the duties and responsibilities of said position. Said certification shall be the result of the exercise of judgment and discretion of the members of the Selection Board, and of the Board itself, arrived at individually and collectively as a result of the evaluation process described herein.

               

     The City Manager shall appoint to the vacancy at issue one (1) of the three (3) persons certified by the Selection Board as eligible and qualified for said appointment. Said appointment shall be for a probationary period of six (6) months. If the appointee satisfactorily completes said probationary period, the City Manager then shall make said appointment permanent.

               

(Amended 11-3-92)

     

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