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Columbus Launches Nationwide Search For Next Police Chief

Mayor Andrew Ginther outlines the city's timetable for hiring a new police chief on Monday, April 8, 2019.
Nick Evans
/
WOSU
Mayor Andrew Ginther outlines the city's timetable for hiring a new police chief on Monday, April 8, 2019.

Columbus is kicking off its search for a new police chief—the 34th in the city’s history.

As part of a nationwide search, the first in city history, Columbus will accept both internal and external candidates. But first, Mayor Andrew Ginther explains, they’ll survey local residents to help craft the job description for the Columbus Division of Police’s new leader.

"We want to hear from more of our residents, of all ages, backgrounds and experiences, they will help us shape the job description that we post," Ginther says.

Columbus Police is currently being led by Interim Chief Tom Quinlan, a 30-year department veteran who previously served as deputy police chief. He took over from Chief Kim Jacobs, who served seven years as the department's first woman and first openly gay chief before stepping down in February.

Dawn Tyler Lee, the mayor's deputy chief of staff, says they expect to hold interviews with candidates through this summer and fall.

“It is our intent to have our next police chief selected by the end of 2019 or early 2020,” Lee says. “But as we’ve said before, this process will not be driven by the calendar, this process will be driven by the time it takes to find the best candidate for our city.”

A resident advisory committee will help lead community engagement to draft the job description, conduct public events with hopefuls and submit a shortlist to the mayor.

"I've been very clear,” Ginther says, “I'm looking for a change agent who will pursue innovation and excellence in policing—someone who will use the recommendations of the resident-led community safety advisory commission as a roadmap to guide the division."