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City Reaches Next Steps in Police Chief Search

LINCOLN–(News Release Mar. 31)–Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced the results of the monthlong public engagement process that kicked off the search for Lincoln’s next Chief of Police. The results were published in a report that is available for public review at lincoln.ne.gov/policechiefsearch. That site also includes the position announcement and position profile.

“After extensive outreach to the community, our efforts have given us invaluable insight into the priorities our residents have for policing and the Police Chief,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “The broad themes we heard repeatedly include a commitment to community policing, support for our officers and the department, a focus on diversity and equity both within the force and in the community, and an unwavering dedication to transparency and accountability.”

The public engagement process included the following:

  • A short public survey was available online in five languages and at local library branches in paper format, with the option to be completed by phone. The survey had 1,591 online, 18 paper, and four phone responses.
  • The Mayor invited the public to participate in six focus groups for the business sector; education sector; faith communities; law enforcement agencies, including the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office; social service partner organizations; neighborhoods; and youth.
  • The Mayor engaged in another 25 meetings with groups including Lincoln Police Department staff; three City Advisory Boards – the Multicultural Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Roundtable, and Citizens Police Advisory Board; young people impacted by the justice system; the NAACP; and Black Lives Matter.

Information from the survey, focus groups and meetings helped to develop the position profile and provided insight for the Search Committee to use when interviewing candidates. The report details the broad categories and themes residents voiced throughout the public engagement process as well as quotes from answers to the online survey and focus groups.

Over the next month, the City’s consultant, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), will actively recruiting candidates to participate in the process. All interested individuals are required to provide a cover letter, resume and five references. PERF contact information is provided in the job announcement. The City is accepting applications for the position through April 26.

In the final phase of the process, vetted candidates will participate in interviews with the Search Committee interview panel toward the end of May. Once the interview panel identifies and recommends the finalists, the City will schedule another public forum in June to provide an additional opportunity for public input before a final decision is made by the Mayor. The nomination is then subject to approval by the City Council.

Members of the Search Committee were named in February and include:

  • Bob Caldwell, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, NEBCO, Inc.
  • Tracy Corr, Chairperson, Mayor’s Neighborhood Roundtable
  • Marty Fehringer, former LPD Captain, Assistant Chief of UNL Police
  • Romeo Guerra, Executive Director, El Centro de las Americas
  • Pastor John Leonard Harris, M.Ed., Founder and President, Encouragement Unlimited, Incorporated
  • Dr. Ed Mlinek, Emergency Medicine Specialist, Bryan Health
  • Genelle Moore, former LPD Captain, Human Resources Specialist, Lincoln Public Schools
  • Phil Tegeler, retired, Former Executive Director, The Bridge Behavioral Health
  • Dr. Colette Yellow Robe, Academic Retention Specialist, UNL

Additional staff assistance will be provided to the committee by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Jennifer Brinkman; City Attorney Yohance Christie; and the Director of the City-County Human Resources Department, Doug McDaniel.


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