Aldermen interview 8 for PD chief
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 1:00 AM
No action was taken Monday night after the Mayor and Board of Aldermen interviewed eight candidates for Chief of the Philadelphia Police Department.
The eight, interviewed during an executive session, included the current assistant chief and two other officers currently on the force.
Mayor James A. Young said all the candidates were "very positive, very professional and presented themselves very well" to the board.
The new chief will succeed Dickie Sistrunk who retired in July.
Assistant Police Chief Julian Greer has been overseeing the department since Sistrunk retired.
He was among those interviewed on Monday, the Mayor said.
"The interviews were positive," he said. "It was good. It is such an important thing that you want to take your time and evaluate everybody. Even people that you think you know, you have to back up and reevaluate everything."
The candidates also included Philadelphia Police officers Larry Smith and William "Bill" Cox, Young said.
"Four of the candidates are from town and four were from out of town," Young said.
Ward 4 Alderman Cecil Nichols, who serves as police commissioner, said three or four of the candidates stood out to him.
Nichols said the police force was one of the best trained forces in the surrounding area. However, he said, ongoing turnover because of low salaries remains a problem.
"We are trying to stop the turnover rate and one of the things is about finances," he said. "If we can build the morale back up, they will stay with us."
Nichols said the new chief must possess integrity and good morals.
"That is what we want for the citizens of Philadelphia, to make sure the officers and the chief have integrity and show good morals both on and off duty."
Mayor Young said aldermen would not rush to make a final decision on the new chief.
The issue will be further discussed at the board's next meeting Tuesday night.
"I think Philadelphia will be in good shape with either one of the eight. Some are more experienced than others but a willingness and passion was seen in all of them," he said.