A leader who’s quick on his or her feet, cares about transparency and accountability and who can commit to addressing homelessness and mental health-related issues.
Those are some of the attributes that Sacramento community members said they want in their new police chief. The job opening was just officially added to the city’s job website on Thursday, even though the former chief, Sam Somers Jr., retired in December.
The new police chief will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the police agency, which runs on a $132 million budget and employs 751 sworn officers and just over 300 civilian employees across four departments, a brochure for the job posting says.
Candidates are expected to have at least eight years of experience as a supervisor within a police department, two of which should be in an administrative or management role, ideally at a police department serving more than 250,000 people, the job posting said.
Basic qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in political science, or other law enforcement-related degrees, though a master’s degree is preferred.
“We will have a lot of interest,” said assistant city manager Arturo Sanchez, who is overseeing the police chief search. “This is a great city to live and work in.”
Sanchez said the city planned to pay the candidate based on his or her experience, though the online posting lists a yearly base salary ranging from $166,000 to almost $250,000. The pay scale falls in line with city’s current salary schedule for the job and does not include benefits.
A new chief is expected to be selected by early to mid-June, Sanchez said. Top applicants will meet with a professional panel of law enforcement and city officials, who will forward their recommendations to Sacramento City Manager Howard Chan before he makes the pick.
Somers, a veteran with the Police Department with more than three decades of experience, announced his retirement in September.
At the time, tensions between the department and local community members were rising over the high-profile police shooting of Joseph Mann, a mentally ill black man who was armed with a knife and acting erratically.
Somers’ departure from the Sacramento Police Department launched a nationwide search for a new chief. The city selected Rocklin recruitment firm Ralph Andersen & Associates to help with the hiring process. The firm recently helped the San Francisco and Oakland police departments hire new chiefs.
“They keep a list of people who are high-caliber, quality applicants,” Sanchez said.
Brian Louie, a deputy police chief at the time, was asked to fill in as the interim chief while the national search was underway. A 36-year veteran of the department who has applied for the top spot twice before, Louie said he planned to make a run at the police chief job a third time.
Applications will be accepted through May 8. Sanchez said the Rocklin search firm was helping coordinate the community involvement portion of the hiring process.
So far, the city has held a series of forums with community members to help craft the promotional brochure for the police chief’s job and develop a better understanding of what residents want in a new chief, Sanchez said.
A 14-question survey and additional meetings with stakeholder groups, such as local business owners and neighborhood associations, are in the planning stages but will likely take place in late April. The answers gathered will craft the criteria that members of the professional panel will use to assess the most promising candidates, Sanchez said.
Once the candidate is chosen, he or she will have to undergo a background check as well as medical and psychological tests. City officials say they expect to announce the new chief in July.