BY TONY BOUZA
The sitting (and I use the term advisedly) Chief of Police capped a distinguished police career with his greatest feat—the announcement of his departure.
In my insufferable hubris (“That Tony Bouza, he sure is full of himself, isn’t he?”—overheard one wag to another) I hasten to add my suggestion.
First, hire a personnel firm to concoct a want ad, advertise in police journals, and consult the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major City Chiefs Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum.
Reduce the many resumes to 30 or 40, and then winnow these down to 10 serious prospects.
Appoint a citizen’s committee of about nine: police-interested; LGBT; women; people of color; and, yes, one or two white men. This pro bono group would interview the candidates over five days. Three hours each.
Suggested questions should include views on police unions; control of thumpers; race shootings; bloat; accountability; police tactics—decoys, stings, stakeouts; traffic stops; one-person patrols; documentation; press relations; 911 calls; code of silence; relations with public officials, etc. I recommend my son Dominick to chair the committee. Nepotism—in pro bono, onerous tasks—it ain’t, but he knows the issues and is competent.
The committee would prepare a list of three finalists for the mayor and Council to consider.
The mayor appoints the finalist.
A clear science it ain’t.
A chief’s job is really simple—organize things to fight street crime (more arrests, cops don’t prevent crime), respond to emergencies and regulate traffic. The chief is management; the union is labor. It is an adversarial relationship. The union has done a really poor job of managing the MPD.
The challenge this represents is to establish whether the city leaders actually retain the good faith necessary to pursue this difficult task. The Donald Frasers are in short supply.
My guess—based on long and tortured experience—is that the city parents will choose the safe, convenient, lazy, business-as-usual path. After all, what’s $27 million here and $20 million there. Easy come, easy go.
Does anyone really care?
My informed guess is no.
You are all screwed.
And, in all likelihood, so am I, but not for very much longer.
Special thanks to Jennifer Volkenant for transmitting this document.