PASO ROBLES, Calif-The City of Paso Robles is on the search for a new police chief. Now the city has paid nearly 14-thousand dollars to find the right fit for their community members. That's why the city held a public comment town hall meeting to get input, and it was packed.
One resident says, "the bottom line is for the police department is to go out and get the bad guy, and on their way help the good guy."
If only it were that easy for this search, community members went back and forward in heated discussions. Another man said, "they love the power, the love the money, but boy are the hesitant to accept responsibility."
Barbara Partridge responded, "I don't know where half of you get your ideas, or several of you, but this city has come so far because people have stepped up to help to volunteer, to bring us together."
Within the hour and a half meeting community members and made a lengthy list of 29 characteristics of a perfect police chief. Many of these characteristics, some residents believe, the department already has. An older gentlemen said, "we've got fine people here and I'm sure we can get a chief like this from the department here."
Another worry among the people was the influence of the growing number of gang members in the area. Marcie Powers, from the anti-gang commission says, "I think that it's important for the new chief to be able to recognize that we have a gang problem, and its good to be aggressive about that."
Now all these comments are going to be put to use, Avery Associates, who was hired to find the candidate says this is a way to engage the community with the right chief. Bill Avery says, "we get insights into what we are looking for hearing from people, there's any number of approaches and styles in police chiefs, different backgrounds, you need to match it up with what the community wants and needs."
Avery Associates says they will find a new police chief within the next four months. If the chief doesn't work out after two years, the consulting firm will find a new one free of charge.
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