Media Relations Team
Director of Media Relations
Director of Communications
December 17, 2019
I am pleased to announce that I have selected Interim Chief of Police Thomas Quinlan to serve as the City’s next Police Chief.
For the first time, the City was able to look outside the Division. I was committed to finding the best person to serve the community and our officers – whether that person came from outside or inside the Division.
Under the direction of Deputy Chief of Staff Dawn Tyler Lee, the City formed a search advisory committee with a range of law enforcement and community leaders, and engaged thousands of residents and police officers for their views on the next Police Chief. The search firm of Ralph Anderson and Associates constructed a job description from the community’s feedback then recruited several candidates for consideration. The final two candidates went through an extensive interview process with me, other city officials and stakeholders and participated in a public forum last month where they answered questions from residents.
I have said repeatedly that I wanted a fair and honest change agent who could make policing more community minded to meet the needs of our residents. Serving as interim chief, Tom has made solid strides in the right direction, including a complete reorganization of the Division and a new mission statement with a cultural shift toward accountability, transparency and compassion.
He disbanded the Vice Unit and replaced it with PACT – Police and Community Together – to work more closely with the community on Vice-related issues.
And under his leadership, our police recruit classes – including the one that started yesterday – are the most diverse we have had in years.
He has made significant inroads into improving community-police relations with a Community Advisory Committee to the Chief and community education officers.
Tom was vital to the work of the Community Safety Advisory Commission and has started implementation of the recommendations from the Matrix report that included a review of officer deployment and wellness, and an unflinching look at racism in the Division.
We must continue that momentum.
The selection of the next Police Chief is one of the most important decisions I will make as Mayor. I am confident in Chief Quinlan’s ability to continue with this progress.
I am also aware that not everyone will agree with this decision. That’s OK. I know that we can all work together to make real and lasting change in the way our city polices. We can confront and address racism where it exists, and we can continue to build safe neighborhoods with strong community-police relations.