Four finalists named for Dayton police chief

Four finalists to become the next Dayton police chief have been named. They include, from the left, Joseph Sullivan, the former deputy police commissioner of Philadelphia; Dayton Interim police director and chief Matt Carper;
Kamran Afzal, police chief of Hopewell, Virginia; and  John Pate, chief administrative officer and director of public safety in Opa-Locka, Florida. CONTRIBUTED

caption arrowCaption
Four finalists to become the next Dayton police chief have been named. They include, from the left, Joseph Sullivan, the former deputy police commissioner of Philadelphia; Dayton Interim police director and chief Matt Carper; Kamran Afzal, police chief of Hopewell, Virginia; and John Pate, chief administrative officer and director of public safety in Opa-Locka, Florida. CONTRIBUTED

The city of Dayton Wednesday released the names of the four finalists for the police chief position, and they include the current interim chief and three current and former out-of-state law enforcement officials from as far away as Florida.

The city also says one potential fifth candidate is being vetted by the consulting team and could be added to the list of finalists.

Interim police director and Chief Matt Carper made the cut, as did Joseph Sullivan, the former deputy police commissioner of Philadelphia; Kamran Afzal, police chief of Hopewell, Virginia; and John Pate, chief administrative officer and director of public safety in Opa-Locka, Florida.

“We have a strong diverse pool of candidates applying to be our next chief of police,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein. “As we begin the final phase of this process, we are confident we will find a strong leader for the Dayton Police Department who understands and appreciates the value of community engagement in policing.”

Police chief Richard Biehl retired this past summer after 13 years leading the Dayton Police Department.

The city’s search for a new chief began last spring, and the city hired an outside consultant to help find qualified candidates.

Originally, the deadline to apply for the chief position was the end of August. But that was pushed back to Sept. 12.

The city told the Dayton Daily News last week that about 30 people expressed interest in or applied for the city’s top cop job, including three people from Ohio and many others from out of state.

caption arrowCaption
Dayton Police Lt. Col., Matt Carper updates the media at a presser concerning the Sunday night officers involved shooting.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Dayton Police Lt. Col., Matt Carper updates the media at a presser concerning the Sunday night officers involved shooting.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

caption arrowCaption
Dayton Police Lt. Col., Matt Carper updates the media at a presser concerning the Sunday night officers involved shooting.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Lt. Col. Carper was sworn in as interim chief and police director in late July.

Carper has worked for the department since 1992, most recently serving as deputy director and deputy chief. He served in that capacity between March 2019 and July 2021.

He also was assistant chief and chief of operations between August 2016 and March 2019.

Some of his previous roles included commander of the narcotics bureau, Professional Standards Bureau and the central patrol and west patrol operations divisions.

caption arrowCaption
Joseph Sullivan

Joseph Sullivan

caption arrowCaption
Joseph Sullivan

Sullivan, who lives in New Jersey, has 38 years of law enforcement and management experience.

He served as the deputy commissioner of patrol operations for the Philadelphia Police Department between 2017 and early 2020. Philly’s police department is the fourth largest department in the nation.

Sullivan says he commanded a department of nearly 4,700 sworn and civilian personnel and helped oversee a $750 million budget.

He joined the Philadelphia police force in 1982 and worked his way up in the organization.

He became the inspector and commanding officer of one of the city’s precincts and then later of the narcotics division.

More recently, he was the chief inspector of the training and education bureau. He then worked for about eight years as the chief inspector of the homeland security and counter terrorism bureau.

ajc.com

Pate has been the chief administrative officer and director of public safety with Opa-Locka since October of 2019.

The Florida city has a population of nearly 16,000 people and sits in Miami-Dade County, which located in southern Florida and is the state’s largest county.

Pate previously served as the chief administrative officer and director of public safety for the village of University Park, Illinois. He held that position from the summer of 2017 to the fall of 2019.

Prior to that, he was police inspector (or deputy director) of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for about five years.

Chicago is in Cook County, and it is the second most populous county in the nation. Between 2007 and 2010, he was a police lieutenant with the village of Phoenix, Illinois.

caption arrowCaption
Kamran Afzal

Kamran Afzal

caption arrowCaption
Kamran Afzal

Afzal has about three decades of law enforcement experience.

He became chief of the Hopewell Police Department on Jan. 1, 2019. Before that, he was the police chief for the Durango Police Department.

His career began with the U.S. Capitol Police in 1991, and then he joined the Arlington (Virginia) Police Department a couple of years later.

He was a command staff member of the Arlington police force between late 2005 to early 2017.

Dayton’s city manager expects to appoint a new police chief by early November.

Applications were accepted through early September, and an initial vetting process was completed last week, city officials said.

The city hired Waverly Partners LLC to conduct a national search and complete some initial vetting of candidates. Police Management Solutions Inc. helped with the overall recruitment process.

The city says it hired Jack Clancy and Associate to put the finalists through a series of assessment center and testing activities.

Finalists will participate in an “extensive” day of interview panels, the city said, and more than 50 people including police reform group committee members, faith leaders and others representing various community organizations, businesses and neighborhood associations will be involved.

About the Author