Search for new police chief gets underway

Mayor R.T. Rybak will announce his choice for a new police chief by early September, according to a plan he released May 15 outlining the selection process for the city's next top cop.

Rybak said he wants to have a &#8220fair, open and public process” to select the Minneapolis Police Department's new leader. In addition to creating a committee of public officials and community leaders to advise him on the selection, the mayor is also encouraging residents to provide input using the Minneapolis 311 phone line and a similar web-based survey.

&#8220The chief of police is a central public leader in our city, and it is essential that the community knows, trusts and respects this person,” Rybak said. &#8220That's why I want the residents of Minneapolis to understand that they have a voice in this process.”

Rybak will be looking for a police chief who is committed to maintaining public safety, has strong leadership and management skills, demands respectful and consistent service in all communities, and is a visible leader who builds partnerships with the community. The criteria was established during the extensive 2004 search that led to the hiring of Police Chief William McManus.

Just two years into his three-year contract, McManus left Minneapolis April 14 to take the top cop job in San Antonio. Rybak has taken his time to begin the process of searching for a new police chief, noting that he wants time to find the right candidate while allowing the department to garner some much-needed stability.

Assistant Police Chief Tim Dolan, who was running the day-to-day operations of the department under McManus, has been serving as interim chief. Rybak has said the department &#8220won't miss a beat” in public safety while Dolan is leading the department.

Members of the mayor's 12-person advisory committee will include several community leaders, including School Board Member Peggy Flanagan, Fellowship Baptist Church Committee Co-Chair Al Gallmon, Sen. Linda Higgins and Rep. Frank Hornstein.