Reducing Violent Crime Is Priority From Police Chief Search Community Survey

Friday, June 16, 2017

The city of Chattanooga on Friday released the findings of a community survey, which was distributed by the Citizen Safety Coalition from May 16-June 9. The survey findings will be provided to the selection committee who will use this feedback to inform their selection criteria as they review applications and interview candidates for the job of Chattanooga Police Chief.  

A total of 225 people completed the community survey.  To the question, “What do you think is most important for the new chief to focus on?” the majority of respondents ranked “reducing violent crimes like assaults” highest, followed by “reducing shootings, building relationships with neighborhoods, increased training, reducing sexual assault and reducing domestic violence.” “Reducing property crime” ranked seventh. 

The survey also asked the community to weigh in on values important for the incoming Police Chief to possess. Citizens strongly agreed that the values of determination, honesty, resourcefulness and dedication are important to the job.  The lowest ranking was “attention to detail.” 

Note: Scores are weighted calculations, with items ranked higher given a greater score than items that are ranked lower.   The total score for each item is the sum of the weighted scores and the aggregate rank is the overall rank for all entries based on the weighted scores for each item. 

Applications for Chattanooga Police Chief will close on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. The selection committee will consider all applications before narrowing the field and conducting interviews.

The five-person committee includes former District Attorney Bill Cox, community leader Olga de Klein, Pastor Ternae Jordan, CEO Chris Ramsey, and former U.S. Attorney Bill Killian. Judge Christie Sell had previously recused herself from the committee to ensure judicial appropriateness and to avoid a risk of conflict or appearance of impropriety.

At this time, the search committee has indicated they are on schedule and will provide their recommendation of no more than three candidates to Mayor Andy Berke at the conclusion of their review process. Per the city of Chattanooga Charter, the mayor’s selection for the position of police chief is subject to majority approval by Chattanooga City Council.

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