Dayton’s search for police chief heats up

Retired Dayton police chief Richard Biehl attends the swearing-in of interim Dayton director and chief of police Matt Carper Friday July 30, 2021, at Dayton City Hall. City Commissioner, Jeffrey Mims is on the left.  JIM NOELKER/STAFF
Caption
Retired Dayton police chief Richard Biehl attends the swearing-in of interim Dayton director and chief of police Matt Carper Friday July 30, 2021, at Dayton City Hall. City Commissioner, Jeffrey Mims is on the left. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Dayton’s search for a new police chief kicks into higher gear in less than two weeks when the application period closes and the screening and review process begins.

The city hopes to select a new police chief by mid-October, and the city’s elected leaders recently approved consulting and assessment services related to the hunt.

Chief Richard Biehl retired last month after leading the police department for 13 years.

Dayton’s new chief should be a capable manager who has a demonstrated ability to lead people, said Patrick Oliver, a consultant the city hired who is the director of the criminal justice program at Cedarville University.

“As the formal head of the police organization, the chief should develop a new vision for the agency that is consistent with a reimagined organizational mission,” Oliver said in a profile of the police chief.

Some community members, including Dayton Unit NAACP leaders, have urged the city to take its time to ensure it finds just the right person for the job.

ExploreDayton’s search for new police chief gets underway
Interim Dayton police Chief Matt Carper at Wednesday's city commission meeting. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Caption
Interim Dayton police Chief Matt Carper at Wednesday's city commission meeting. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Candidates can apply for Dayton’s police chief job opening through Aug. 31, at which time the first review of applications will get underway, according to the city’s proposed recruitment timeline.

The city expects a consultant will review and screen applications the first full week of September.

The following two weeks, the consultant is expected to interview “qualified” candidates who also will complete supplemental questionnaires, the city’s timeline states.

After that, the police selection oversight committee is expected to review and evaluate semi-finalists.

Other subsequent steps include assessment center testing and interviews with finalists that also involve the oversight committee, neighborhood presidents, the police reform implementation committee and representatives from the Dayton Unit NAACP.

Dayton’s timeline indicates the new police chief could be selected by mid-October.

Dayton city commissioners earlier this summer approved a $60,400 contract with Waverly Partners LLC to handle executive recruitment services related to the job search.

Interim Dayton director and chief of police Matt Carper Friday July 30, 2021, by Deputy City Manager Joe Parlette.. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
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Interim Dayton director and chief of police Matt Carper Friday July 30, 2021, by Deputy City Manager Joe Parlette.. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The company helped create a profile of the police chief position that has been posted on jobs boards run by the Police Executive Research Forum; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police; and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

The job profile says candidates must have 10 or more years of command experience in a large municipal police department.

Candidates need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and also must have “a proven track record working effectively in an ethnically and culturally diverse population,” the position profile states.

The police department has an annual budget of roughly $57 million and has 368 sworn police officers and 39 civilian employees.

The chief’s annual salary is expected to be between $118,890 and $160,825.

Retired Dayton police chief Richard Biehl attends the swearing-in of interim Dayton director and chief of police Matt Carper Friday July 30, 2021. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
Caption
Retired Dayton police chief Richard Biehl attends the swearing-in of interim Dayton director and chief of police Matt Carper Friday July 30, 2021. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The Dayton City Commission this week approved a $14,000 purchase order for Police Management Solutions Inc. to provide recruitment, testing and assessment services to assist with the city’s search for its next top cop.

Police Management Solutions will evaluate police chief candidates’ job skills and behaviors using a standardized process called an “assessment center,” which uses scenarios to simulate job functions, according to the company’s work proposal.

The consultant will work with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives to identify two to three “viable” candidates to apply for the opening.

The City of Dayton held a retirement party for police chief Richard Biehl Tuesday July 27, 2021 at the Levitt Pavilion. Jim Noelker/Staff
Caption
The City of Dayton held a retirement party for police chief Richard Biehl Tuesday July 27, 2021 at the Levitt Pavilion. Jim Noelker/Staff

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The consultant will help develop assessment center training and will engage some community members to obtain input and feedback about desirable qualities and skills of the next chief, the proposal states.

The consultant also will help with community outreach and buy-in on the chief selection process and the consultant will help select “assessors” for training and community engagement.