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Government and People
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Linda Wharton Boyd
MAYOR BARRY FORMING SEARCH COMMITTEE FOR NEW D.C. POLICE CHIEF
Nominees Drawn from a Wide Cross-Section of the Community
Mayor Marion Barry, Jr., is in the process of selecting a 21-member search committee which will assist with choosing the District's new police chief Metropolitan Police Department Chief Larry Soulsby stepped down on Nov. 25 following a series of controversies dogging him that he said distracted from the good work the department is doing. Mayor Barry named Assistant Chief Sonya T. Proctor, a 23-year veteran, acting chief on the heels of Chief Soulsby's departure.
She is the first African American woman to head the 3,700-member department. Before her appointment, Chief Proctor was assistant chief for personnel and training. "Searching for a new police chief is an important first step in correcting some of the many problems affecting the police department," Mayor Barry said. "With a competent, qualified, untainted leader at the top, we expect these qualities to filter down through the rest of the department. Just as crucial is the fact that stabilizing the department should also lead to greater community confidence in the department and a continuation of the trend toward reducing crime."
Mr. Hallem Williams, an employee in the Office of Grants Management, has agreed to head the search committee. Another person who has agreed to serve on the committee is former FBI Director and retired Judge William Webster, Mayor Barry said this morning.
The committee is drawn from a broad cross-section of the community and includes businesspeople community activists, jurists, the seven chairpersons of the District's Police Citizens Advisory Councils, law enforcement specialists and others. Members will meet, determine the criteria they will use to choose prospective applicants and then come up with its own recommendations.
The Mayor is also consulting with D.C. City Council members and Congressional representatives, such as D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Virginia Rep. Thomas Davis and other lawmakers from the Washington Metropolitan area and has asked them to submit their choices for the search committee.
Norm Roberts and Associates, a noted executive search firm, will work with the committee in the selection process. This week, the Mayor retained the firm to begin the nationwide search for a new chief
The Mayor expects the search to take between 90 and 120 days.
He also said he hopes Chief Proctor will apply for consideration as permanent chief.
D.C. Citizens Advisory Committee on the
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