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Reader: City's police chief survey is 'bogus' 

Editor,

As quoted by WSAV regarding the hiring of a new police chief:  “They (the department) have history,” said (City Manager Stephanie) Cutter. “Someone new coming in has to kind of get a good feel for what that history is. Has to learn the organization. You don’t just come in and boom, make changes impulsively.”

Two huge red flags in that statement.

Point #1, “He.”  That disrespects and disqualifies our current acting chief.  ‘Nuff said.

Point #2:  Someone coming in shouldn’t have to “learn.”  They should know how a police department functions.  If you hire somebody that needs to “learn,” then you are hiring the wrong person.  ‘Nuff said, again.

As for a public survey, that is what an election is, right?  So, if you want to pursue that thought, let’s just vote for a police chief.  That gets rid of the money spent to search for a “he” that needs to “learn.”  And would we be worse off?  Probably not.

 But not better off, either, based on the election results of recent history for other city offices.  Oh, wait – city manager isn’t elected, but that got screwed up just like police chief (not referring to current, of course?).  

The survey is so flawed it is laughable.  On first glance, one might think, “Yes, these are all good qualities for a chief to have.”  

Then, once you start it, what the survey does is force you to choose the LEAST important quality.  (Go to savannahga.gov/chiefsearch to see survey)

In the first question, if “Reduce Response Time” ends up the bottom (least important) quality for a new police chief, then all “he” has to do is make sure that one aspect gets better during “his” tenure.  

Why?  Because, at a future city council news conference, they can say, “Well, he improved response times.”  

He may not have met any other standard, but the Council can be proud they picked someone who could meet the MINIMUM standard!

Seriously, this is so bogus and smells so much of “cover your butt”-ness that the manager and council should be ashamed of themselves.  

Their defense?  To understand the needs of the community.  WHAT?  Isn’t that why they ran for office?  Didn’t they say they understood what was needed and were willing to represent their constituents?

And now they abdicate that responsibility with a survey and an outside search agency who needs to “teach” “him” how to be a police chief?!

David Elliott
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Connect Today 10.26.2014

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