The posting strongly encourages qualified applicants to apply by March 22, the deadline for the city’s first round of resume reviews.
Screened candidates can expect a new component to the interview process: Panelists will administer tests to see how candidates react in real-life situations and what kind of decisions they make. The simulations will be based on the findings in the departmental assessment.
In addition to command-level training and experience as a police chief, the posting calls for someone who recognizes the “goal of public safety is a community interest, not just a police department one.” Open communication with Holmes and the rest of the city council, to keep them informed on agency happenings, is vital.
A new leadership tone is needed, Holmes said, that helps the department move forward and evolve services, even with limited resources. A couple of grant-funded positions will run out in the next couple of years. Holmes said the department has a history of labor management tensions that need to be addressed by the new chief.
Though Holmes said he appreciates the level of leadership interim chief Sutter has brought to the department, his candidacy will be vetted amongst others in the talent pool.
After leading 189 sworn officers and 24 civilians for the past six months, Sutter said he is excited by the opportunity to lead the agency permanently.
“It’s easy for me to want to be chief here,” he said. “It’s inspiring to be the leader of an organization of really good people trying to do good every day.”
He said that if he gets the position, he is open to change and that the results of the assessment will provide a good road map.
“I think we have to change. It’s the way we achieve goals and objectives,” Sutter said. “I see the agency moving more toward proactive policing versus reactionary.”
He said that since assuming the leadership role, he has opened the lines of communications through the rank and file.
“The unions have been at the table with me since the first week, and they continue to be. I value that partnership,” he said. “I (also) get along great with city leadership and think we could do great things.”
The position, which currently offers an annual salary between $124,608 and $142,608, remains open until it’s filled. Holmes looks to identify a candidate for hire by the end of the first quarter.
Emily Gillespie: 360-735-4522; http://www.twitter.com/col_cops; firstname.lastname@example.org.