"We just opened it up to whoever wanted to apply." - Mayor James A. Young

They just opened it up to whoever wanted to apply and hoped for the best?

No kidding. That's what Philadelphia Mayor James A. Young said about hiring a new police chief.

Imagine if we ran our businesses that haphazardly. Just whoever applies!

No particular person or persons have been recruited.

"We just opened it up to whoever wanted to apply," Young said. "We hoped to get the best for the city and make the department the best in the area."

Merely hoping for the best isn't good enough when it comes to law enforcement and crime.

And that's nothing against any of the applicants because we don't know who any of them are.

However, we would expect the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to be more aggressive in advertising (not in this newspaper) and recruiting a top law enforcement professional with leadership and management experience, preferably meaning they've run another department.

This isn't Mayberry anymore - and not that Mayberry was bad. Bring Mayberry back!

The challenges here are serious and demand experienced, aggressive leadership. We hope city fathers will find those qualities in one the three remaining candidates.

Major cities that have turned soaring crime around have done so with strong mayors and strong, competent police chiefs. We think of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in New York City.

Merely hoping for the best isn't good enough for Philadelphia anymore.