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City looking for advice on new police chief

The City of Charlottesville wants to know what residents are looking for in their next police chief.

POLIHIRE, a Washington, D.C.-based search firm hired by the city last month, hopes residents will answer its survey about a new chief to help build a profile of the perfect candidate when the firm starts advertising, interviewing and hiring.

The survey, created and managed by POLIHIRE, also asks for information on what topics are most important for the next chief to address and advice residents may have.

Results of the survey will be analyzed by POLIHIRE’s team directly.

“We are hoping to hear from as many residents from Charlottesville as possible,” said City Manager Michael Rogers. “Community input on what the community wants in its new police chief will be very helpful in framing a recruitment profile so that we attract top candidates to consider.”

The survey can be found on the city’s website homepage in both English and Spanish. It will close for input August 15.

The city hired POLIHIRE Strategy Corporation to search for the chief who will replace interim Chief Latroy ‘Tito’ Durrette who replaced former Chief RaShall Brackney, who served in the post for more than three years.

Durrette replaced Assistant Chief James Mooney who was slated to serve as interim chief last September after Brackney was fired by former City Manager Chip Boyles. Mooney, however, retired before he could take over the departmental reins.

Brackney announced last month she is suing the city, alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color and sex. The suit came six months after Brackney filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sought a $3 million settlement. The city never responded to the complaint.

There have been a lot of police chiefs in the past six years. Brackney replaced interim Chief Thierry Dupuis, who replaced interim Chief Gary Pleasants who replaced Chief Al Thomas who resigned after an independent report criticized the police department’s handling of the August 2017 Unite the Right Rally.

Thomas replaced former Chief Timothy Longo in 2016. Longo now serves as chief of the University of Virginia Police Department and UVa’s associate vice president for safety and security.

POLIHIRE has experience head hunting municipal officials. According to their website, POLIHIRE is currently managing the searches for the city managers of Cincinnati, Ohio and Rocky Mount, North Carolina; financial director for Baltimore; and county executive for Prince William County, among others.

The corporation was hired by Fairfax County to conduct the nationwide search for their police chief in 2021. According to Reston Now, part of POLIHIRE’s recruitment process included community surveys to collect public input on what the community wanted out of their police chief.

City spokesman David Dillehunt said the base contract award is $35,000 plus an a la carte menu of additional services that the city may add.


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