Meridian Star

Local News

September 4, 2013

Philadelphia to discuss police chief vacancy

MERIDIAN — Philadelphia Mayor James Young said Tuesday, prior to a meeting with the city's Board of Alderman meeting later that night, that he was open to suggestions when it comes to hiring a new police chief.

    On the one hand, a new chief from outside the department and area can bring in new ideas that could improve the department beyond their current status, Young said. On the other hand, he added, promoting from inside the department lends itself to having a proven leader from the department who is familiar with the town and the officers.

    "I'm not sold on either and am willing to listen to both sides," Young said. "I will make my recommendations and will go along with the board's decision. If they want to open the job up to anyone, then that is fine. If they want to look internally, that is fine as well."

    Former police chief Bill Cox submitted his resignation two weeks ago after accepting a position with the Olive Branch Police Department as the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division. Cox's last day was Friday.

    Young has said Assistant Chief Julian Greer would be among those at the top of his list if the board chooses to hire from inside the Philadelphia Police Department. He said Greer would be a good chief.

    "He's never given me any reason to doubt his ability but ultimately the board has to decide in which direction we should go," Young said.

    Greer is a 20-year-old veteran with the department.

    Young said a police chief is an important position with the department as he has to lead by example. Young said this is an equally important point whenever one considers the vital role a police department plays in a community.

    "The police department has to be at the top of their game constantly," Young said. "There is no such thing as a timeout for the police and the chief is the man who makes it work so we have to be careful in who we pick so that the choice is the best not only for the department but for the citizens of Philadelphia as well."

    A year ago Young said several candidates were interviewed but some backed off because the salary was too low. The salary for police chief in Philadelphia is roughly $41,000 a year.

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