Source: SJ police chief candidates underwhelming

January 10, 2013 11:45:45 PM PST
In San Jose, finding the right police chief is going to take more time. With the current chief leaving in a week, and several finalists in the running, city leaders abruptly decided to look around a little more.

San Jose will have to wait for a new police chief. Current Chief Chris Moore is retiring. His last day is next Friday. The city has been searching for a replacement but City Manager Debra Figone has now decided to expand the search.

"She feels that we need to take a little more time on our recruitment process for our next chief," said David Vossbrink, Figone's Communications Director.

Vossbrink says the top candidates met with community leaders Wednesday behind closed doors, after which Figone decided she needed more time to find a perfect match for the city.

"They want somebody who's not only a good manager and a good leader, but also is culturally competent and a good communicator," Vossbrink said. "Somebody who is sensitive to the wide diversity of our community, someone who can really address the morale issues and budget issues of the department."

The department is dwindling. On Thursday the department tweeted a farewell to Assistant Chief Rikki Goede, who will now head Piedmont's police force.

Vossbrink says the candidates for Moore's job have been strong. But a source close to the selection process says that's not true, saying those who met with the finalists were underwhelmed and felt the candidates weren't qualified to handle a city as large and diverse as San Jose.

Aurora Colorado Police Chief Dan Oates admits he was a finalist. The Denver Post reports he told his department he interviewed but would not be going to San Jose.

Former San Jose police officer and city councilman Pete Constant says whoever is hired needs to be in it for the long haul, "We can't afford to have a selection that lasts a relatively short time like we just went through. We need solid steady and strong leadership for our police department and for our city."

The city manager is working with police command staff to create an interim management team until they find a replacement for Chief Moore.


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