Editorial: Questions to ask when selecting a new police chief in Prescott Valley
Residents have been offered a unique chance to meet four candidate finalists, who if selected, will be the next chief of police in Prescott Valley.
Prescott Valley Town Manager Larry Tarkowski announced Sept. 5 that Joseph Deras, Kathleen Elliott, Greg Volker and Steven Roser were chosen as a step above the other 53 applicants who threw their names in a hat for the job.
The nationwide search surely had several qualified candidates to replace former Chief Bryan Jarrell, who retired earlier this summer.
And now, Prescott Valley residents, who will be directly impacted by decisions made from the chosen applicant, get the opportunity to meet the candidates.
The meet and greet, set for 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Prescott Valley Public Library Crystal Room, will offer a chance for a few questions to be asked.
And what questions should those be? For starters, what is a candidate’s top priority as new chief of police? The community? The rank and file? Setting up their office? We shall see.
What kind of leader are they? What is their work history? Are they kind? Are they compassionate? Or are they being selected to bark orders and keep police officers below them who risk their lives every day on our streets in line?
There are several attributes to look for when picking a good leader, according to authors Jeffrey Cohn and Jay Moran in the book, “Why are we bad at picking good leaders?” They list integrity, empathy, emotional intelligence, vision, judgment, courage and passion as their top attributes.
That last one, passion, is an attribute that can enhance the others on a daily basis and carry a person through the difficult times. And if there’s any job on this planet that is surely difficult, it is that of a police chief.
Those who attend can, and should, ask questions like: What do you plan to do with the speeding problem on side streets in town? What about drugs in the community, including fentanyl, what’s the plan of attack? Have you spoken with other local agencies to see what they are doing?
The list is certainly long, but we implore not only those attending the meet and greet, but the town’s leadership to not be afraid to ask questions.