City leaders hope to have a new police commissioner by the end of the year, according to a statement released by the mayor’s office on Monday.
Managing Director Brian Abernathy said in the statement that the city “has embarked on a targeted search that includes internals and external candidates.”
The statement also said that the city has enlisted the services of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a police research and policy organization that also specializes in executive police searches.
PERF’s role will be to “support the city in outreach, identifying qualified candidates, and the interview process,” Abernathy said. “This organization has assisted other large cities with similar searches, and with their support, we expect that we will find the right person to lead our police department.”
Kenney is also seeking input from city residents. To that end, Kenney is encouraging residents to complete a survey that can be found at phila.gov/PPDCommissionerdownload. Hard copies are also available and can be picked up in the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, City Hall, Room 115.
“We know that residents deserve a voice in this important appointment,” Kenney said in the statement. “So we have launched a survey to gather the public’s feedback on what issues they think are most important, on what characteristics the next commissioner should have, and to provide any other feedback they think we should consider in our search.”
Ex-Commissioner Richard Ross resigned last month amidst allegations that members of the department engaged in sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination against two women serving in the ranks.
Ross and interim Police Commissioner Christine Coulter were named in a lawsuit by a woman in the department who claimed that Ross ignored her claim of sexual harassment by another officer because she broke off a two-year affair with Ross.
Coulter, the first woman to be named to the post, even in an interim capacity, came under fire last week when a photo taken of her in the 1990s showed her wearing a T-shirt that appeared to mock the brutal beating of Rodney King by the Los Angeles Police Department.
On Monday, Solomon Jones and other Black leaders held a two-hour closed-door meeting with Kenney, Coulter, and other members of the Kenney administration about the selection of a new police commissioner and other topics.
Jones, who heads the Rally for Justice Coalition, said Black leaders want the community to have input in the on the selection of the next commissioner.
“We think that the more the community is able to be at the tables, the more confidence the community will have in the process,” said the Rev. Jay Broadnax, president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity.