Twenty-five men and one woman have applied to become Spokane’s next police chief.
That’s about what city officials expected when they advertised the post late last year, Assistant City Manager Dorothy Webster said Friday.
“We made the qualifications fairly narrow,” Webster said. The deadline to apply has passed.
Applicants hail from all over the country, including Virginia, Texas, Nebraska and Idaho. One application arrived from Poland, Webster said.
Two candidates work for the Spokane Police Department.
They range in age from 42 to 63, and all are white, said Webster, who is coordinating the search to replace former chief Terry Mangan.
That’s all she would say about the talent pool.
Further information about the candidates for the $87,000-per-year job won’t be released until an advisory committee made up of city officials and citizen volunteers winnows the group down to six semi-finalists, Webster said. That should happen by late April.
“We’ll be releasing their names and biographical information then,” Webster said.
Those six will be invited to Spokane in early May for three days of intensive interviewing, public hearings, testing and background checks.
The advisory committee then will recommend three names to City Manager Bill Pupo, who will visit the cities where the candidates work before he picks Mangan’s successor.
That should happen by June 1.
City officials hope the new chief can start working in mid-July, Webster said.
Of course, that’s all contingent on Pupo finding one of those three acceptable. If he doesn’t, he can reopen the application process or recruit his own candidates.
Under Spokane’s charter, the city manager is solely responsible for selecting the chief.
In 1987, the last time Spokane was searching for someone to head the Police Department, then-City Manager Terry Novak rejected the original 154 applicants for the job.
He then recruited six candidates of his own, ultimately picking Mangan. The former Bellingham, Wash., chief served 11 years in Spokane before retiring earlier this month to take a job with the FBI.
Pupo couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. He said earlier this month that “we have a process and will follow that process.” But he also said he might change the rules, if need be.
One of the strongest internal candidates, acting Police Chief Roger Bragdon, doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree, which is one of the minimum qualifications.
So are 15 years of law enforcement experience, at least seven of them at a command level in a city about the size of Spokane.
The successful applicant must also have excellent communication skills, experience in collective bargaining and be able to collaborate with diverse groups of people, according to the application packet sent to the 55 people interested in the job.
That person also must live in the city, something that wasn’t required of Mangan, who lives northeast of the city limits.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: WHAT’S NEXT An advisory committee will narrow the field to six semi-finalists by late April.