The Chief of Police of Mt Lebanon is a position hired by the manager with the advice and consent of the commission. It is an important position as this person directs the police force which includes officers and non-officers like crossing guards and police admin team members.
There is no timeline with which the municipality must hire a chief of police, but the commission and municipal staff have signaled this is a priority and the plan is to put that person in place as soon as possible. To that end, the municipality put a process in place to recruit and select a chief of police and is using an outside consultant, GovHR, to aid in that effort.
The process was communicated to the public on several occasions including at commission meetings, in discussion sessions, and on the municipal website. The following links are publicly available at the time of the writing of this article:
- Commission Minutes approving consultant – See line Item #8.
- Publicly Available GovHR Recruitment Brochure
- Police chief community forum meeting recording (You can also watch the video below)
The staffing consultant worked with the commission, municipal staff, resident volunteer board members, and members of the public to get a better understanding of the type of person that would be a good fit for the police chief in our municipality. The consultant was also given information from the various diversity equity and inclusion groups which worked to provide recommendations for police engagement and staffing processes, among other issues.
They began a national search for qualified candidates shortly after the commission meeting approving the consulting contract. The consultants put the candidates through interviews and tests and then the municipal manager, HR Director, and members of the commission met with those candidates to further narrow the list.
In September, the municipality arrived at a list of several candidates who were invited to take part in an all-day assessment where they would complete presentations, answer questions, perform mock press conferences, and discuss how they would handle situations they are likely to encounter as chief of police in Mt Lebanon. Commissioners and staff attended that session along with the consultant, GovHR, and a panel of individuals with law enforcement experience who could further advise the commission and manager.
Two candidates were then chosen from that assessment to speak with members of our community in a forum which occurred in early October. The community forum took place in person at the municipal building and was streamed online. It was attended by members of the public, commission, staff, and leaders of local and regional organizations and community groups. The video of the community forum is embedded below:
Now, it is up to the manager to make the final recommendation to the commission which will then consent to the choice of the manager or, in the case of non-consent, start the process over with new candidates.
Public comment is now closed on the community forum but you can always speak to your commissioner with additional questions or concerns that you might have.