First SJPD Chief-Search Meeting Tonight

The quest for SJPD Chief Rob Davis’s replacement kicks off tonight with the city’s first community outreach meeting.

Taking place at the Roosevelt Community Center, the event aims to have citizens weigh in on the type of person they think should be hired to lead San Jose’s Police Department. After tonight’s 6pm meeting, there will be four other opportunities for community engagement through Sept. 2.

“This is one of the most important positions in the city,” City Manager Deb Figone said when announcing the event at today’s city council meeting. “The information we gather at these meetings will help define the characteristics that we are looking for in our next police chief.”

Davis announced his retirement from the top-cop position late last month, after 30 years of service with the department. Davis, who was appointed to the job in 2004, had a controversial tenure marked by community-police trust issues.

Up for comment at tonight’s event will be the type of experience, track record and skills people think San Jose’s new chief should have. There will also be discussion on what the public thinks the most pressing law enforcement issues are.

Figone says she is doing everything possible to “maximize stakeholder input,” including doing outreach to labor, city staff and targeted communities in three languages.

“This recruitment process…is a high priority for me personally and my staff,” Figone wrote in an Aug. 6 memo. “A clear and confidential process that is void of inappropriate influence needs to be preserved to ensure that the best and brightest candidates (be they internal or external) emerge.”

The recruitment is being lead by Teri Black & Company, the Los Angeles based-executive search service behind the city’s recent appointment of a new fire chief, William L. McDonald of Arizona.

After eligible candidates for Davis’s job are identified, the city plans to conduct interviews in November. Final selection and appointment of a new Chief is expected by the end of this year.

There will be four more community outreach meetings:

• Aug. 25, 6pm, Franklin McKinley School District Offices

• Aug. 30, 6pm, City Hall Committee Rooms

• Sept. 1, 6pm, West Valley Library

• Sept. 2, 6pm, Eastside Union High School District Offices

16 Comments

  1. I’m very impressed with Teri Black & Company. I emailed them about whom I thought would make a good Police Chief and I received an immediate response. They also did an excellent job in last night’s meeting. I can honestly say that this is the first time the City’s choice of a recruitment company, and their community outreach has exceeded my expectations.

    The meeting was great and the input was awesome! I hope you’ll attend one of the meetings above. It is definitely worth your time and energy.

  2. Diversity is of utmost importance.

    Follow Hollywood’s lead.

    Look at the actors who played James Bond.

    Sean Connery, Scottish.

    George Lazenby, Australian.

    Roger Moore, English.

    Timothy Dalton, Welsh.

    Pierce Brosnan, Irish.

    Daniel Craig, English.

    Diversity Rules, San Joseans ain’t fools.

  3. Another city dog and pony show. I wish Figone would just come and say who she has already picked. That way our department could move on with some sort of leadership at the helm.

  4. > A search designed to find another chief who will be tone deaf to the recommendations made by seasoned officers and veteran supervisors . . . .

    I’m curious.

    What would be some of the “recommendations made by seasoned officers and veteran supervisors . . . .”?

    • “What would be some of the “recommendations made by seasoned officers and veteran supervisors . . . .”?”

      Let’s start with the recommendations made by the vast majority of supervisors who were sequestered by the Chief at a retreat recently.  A report was generated that showed overwhelming dissatisfaction with the promotional choices, not to mention the process, for supervisors and command staff.  Even the youngest sergeants agreed that this Chief of Police has promoted inexperienced untrained members in the rush to leave his legacy and to accomplish “succession planning.” 

      The fact is, members of all ranks have repeatedly told the Chief that a strong resume and experience should be the highest priority in promotions, not youth and the ability to kiss the right ass.  Hopefully the next chief will revamp the promotional testing and then recognize its value.

  5. Let’s not delude ourselves here Officers Z and X, the City Council does want to conduct a thorough search.  A search designed to find another chief who will be tone deaf to the recommendations made by seasoned officers and veteran supervisors in favor of City Council directives and the whining of a small minority of “community activists.”  Also include the ability to repeat the phrase “how high ma’am” over and over to the City Manager and you have the winner.

  6. ” “recommendations made by seasoned officers and veteran supervisors . “

    – additional staffing so San Jose is not 75TH of 75 largest US cities

    – computers in police cars that can write and wireless transmit police reports rather than have officer hand write police reports which are later keyed into computer at PD headquarters   Saving thousand of hours and millions $ in costs while increasing patrol hours and deceasing report writing hours which are 2-4 hours per 10 hour shift

    – Cameras in patrol cars

    – more detectives and motorcycle traffic officers since San Jose has less than all other large California cities

    – less managers, captains in admin jobs etc and more officers and supervisors on streets preventing and solving crime

    • > – additional staffing so San Jose is not 75TH of 75 largest US cities

      You say that like it’s a BAD thing.  It’s really a GOOD thing.

      San Jose is FIRST among the 75 largest US cities in police officer productivity.  Take a bow!

      > – computers in police cars that can write and wireless transmit police reports rather than have officer hand write police reports which are later keyed into computer at PD headquarters   Saving thousand of hours and millions $ in costs while increasing patrol hours and deceasing report writing hours which are 2-4 hours per 10 hour shift

      Seems sensible for the capital Silicon Valley.  But what’s the price tag?  And, are the data entry drudges members of somebody’s union?

      > – Cameras in patrol cars

      Meh. 

      > – more detectives and motorcycle traffic officers since San Jose has less than all other large California cities

      The fact that we have less than other poorly run large California cities means nothing by itself.  What is—if you’ll pardon the expression — the “bang for the buck”?

      > – less managers, captains in admin jobs etc and more officers and supervisors on streets preventing and solving crime

      Meh.  Ditto last comment.

  7. > – additional staffing so San Jose is not 75TH of 75 largest US cities

    > – more detectives and motorcycle traffic officers since San Jose has less than all other large California cities

    Instead of more cops and more jails, how about if we had more churches teaching the Ten Commandments and Golden Rule, more church attendance, and fewer people calling churches “cults”, “child molesters”, and “hate criminals”?

  8. ” You say that like it’s a BAD thing.  It’s really a GOOD thing.

    San Jose is FIRST among the 75 largest US cities in police officer productivity.  Take a bow!  “

    Yes SJPD is best PD in nation in officer productivity and low crime rates for large cities

    Don’t let city staff mislead you about San Jose’s crime rates almost all other cities in Santa Clara County have lower crime rates and San Jose has double national average auto thief and high burglary rates most of which are repeat crimes by career criminals

    We have very few detectives and traffic officers to prevent or solve property crimes and pay higher insurance rates ( hidden tax ) than other cities with lower crime rates

    Chief Davis has asked for more officers and money to update computer systems but 80 + staff reductions and budget cuts when public safety in supposed to be city’s # 1 budget priority

  9. “…there will be four other opportunities for community engagement through Sept. 2.”

    In a community as so proudly diverse as SJ, you can practically guarantee that there will be at least a dozen diffferent ideas regarding what the qualifications for the new police chief should be.

    A camel is a horse built by community engagement.