NORFOLK, Va. — Six and a half months after Larry Boone abruptly retired as top cop, Norfolk city leaders are pushing ahead to find a permanent replacement.
On Tuesday, City Manager Dr. Chip Filer told council members during a work session that he believes the schedule is on track to announce a new chief by the end of the year.
It has been one week since an in-person public forum to gather community input at Norfolk State University.
"We got some more feedback from citizens on what they're looking for in a next chief," said Filer.
With that in mind, a job description and ad for the position are now circulating.
"Morris & McDaniel has sent it out on many of their platforms, LinkedIn and some of the police chief forums and so on," the city manager added.
One posting with additional information is available to view on governmentjobs.com. The deadline to apply is November 25.
The city is looking for someone "with a history implementing 21st-century policing strategies," according to the ad. Recognizing what Norfolk has to offer, the applicant must be an effective and inspiring leader, who is open-minded and willing to collaborate.
Also, the candidate must have at least three years of experience as an assistant chief of police or the equivalent of seven years of experience as a police officer in a high-level management or executive position.
"I would say, by the time we get shortly right after Thanksgiving, we will start whittling that list down to probably seven or eight candidates," Filer said.
From there, interviews and assessments will take place. The list then goes down to two or three finalists, with additional interviews and assessments on tap.
Filer said he will likely announce the chosen candidate by the end of 2022. The new chief could very well start right away or early next year, depending on their last employment.
"The good news for us is we do have Interim Chief [Michael] Goldsmith in the seat, so he'll be able to fill in until we get the new chief in," said Filer.
When it comes to finding and weighing in on a new chief, Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Guns with Second Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk expressed one critical issue.
"I've had a real concern, in terms of not just with justice but with juvenile justice," said Rev. Dr. Guns.
The longtime Norfolk pastor hopes local youth, especially in impoverished communities, will be a focus for the next chief and their force.
"A chief that's going to really understand the problems that exist within these communities that create and precipitate the kind of violence we see going on," said Rev. Dr. Guns.
Rev. Dr. Guns was one of roughly 15 people who attended a public input forum on October 18.
City leaders and consultants are still taking in community feedback until October 31, via an online survey.