CNS--The head of the city Personnel Department met privately Tuesday with some members of the Los Angeles Police Commission, officially beginning the process of finding a replacement for resigning Chief William Bratton.
Under the city charter, Personnel Department General Manager Maggie Whelan is charged with administering the recruitment process and recommending six candidates for the Police Commission to interview. The commission will then narrow the list to three candidates to recommend to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, whose selection must be confirmed by the City Council.
Whelan told City News Service she expects to hear from commission members what qualifications they would like to see in the new police chief, and whether executive search companies should be hired to facilitate the process.
Bratton announced last week that he was leaving the LAPD Oct. 31 to join a global security company in New York.
"The vision of the next chief of police of the city of Los Angeles should be similar to Chief Bratton's vision: to have an LAPD that's going to continue to reduce crime on one hand and do it professionally, but also to police the various diverse communities with respect," commission President John Mack said.
Aside from having strong leadership skills, an ability to work well with other city officials and effective policing and counter-terrorism strategies, Mack said the new chief should be "committed to continuing to build mutual trust between LAPD and the African-American, Latino, Asian-American and other communities of color."
"There's been a lot of progress in that area and we don't want to fall behind now," he said.
Mack said the new chief should also be "strongly committed" to the transition plan set down by U.S. District Judge Gary Feess following the lifting of the consent decree.
The commission hopes to find a new chief before Bratton leaves, but is willing to keep the door open until the "best candidate" is found, he said.
"We're not going to be locked into that deadline," Mack said. "We don't intend to take any shortcuts with the process."
Bratton has endorsed promoting a member of his command staff to the rank of chief. Mack conceded that "we clearly do have some outstanding leaders within the LAPD who must receive very serious consideration,"
Asked whether Assistant Chiefs Jim McDonnell, Earl Paysinger and Sharon Papa, or Deputy Chief Charlie Beck are possible candidates, Mack said, "at this stage of the game, I prefer not to name names, but certainly all those are qualified people."
Bratton will leave with more than three years remaining in his second term. His nearly seven-year tenure is widely praised for driving down crime rates and bolstering the reputation of the LAPD.
He plans to move back to New York to join a global security company called Altegrity in working to bring "professional, modern criminal justice systems" to post-conflict nations like Afghanistan, Iraq and other emerging democracies.