Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Memphis Set to Raise Salary for Next Chief

The next city of Memphis police chief will get a raise of between about $40,000 and $98,000 over the present pay scale.
Salary Range Posted for Next Memphis Police Chief   

In its recruiting brochure, the city states that the salary range for the next director of police services, aka chief, will be $190,577 to $247,750.  The present salary for the position, held by interim director of police services Mike Rallings, is $150,000.  That itself represented a raise in pay instituted by mayor Jim Strickland earlier this year.  Former chief Toney Armstrong was paid an annual salary of $126,001.46. Strickland previously had said the going rate based on other cities was about $250,000, in his estimation, and Memphis may need to raise its salary level to get the best candidate. This posting is the first time the city has published a new salary range for the job.

Memphis has retained the International Association of Chiefs of Police to manage a search for the next chief.  The job was posted May 6, 2016.

Police Career Search Website Shows City of Memphis Chief Job Was Posted May 6, 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

Top Cop Shopping

Other Cities Recruit Memphis Native for Police Chief

While Memphis Finally Starts Its Formal Search

While local news media press Mayor Jim Strickland about the city’s murder rate
Anne Kirkpatrick

and a search for a new police chief, one nationally prominent candidate for top cop in Chicago and other cities is a Memphis hometowner.

Strickland was reported as saying February 15 that the city would retain the search services of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and that the process would begin within three weeks.                          

More than 11 weeks later, the city has just finished getting its information to the search organization, and the job was officially posted late today May 6.  Deadline for submissions is June 17.  While Memphis has an interim chief in place, and the mayor would say, better to get it right than get it fast, movement on a new chief would quell clamor and uncertainty.  

The Chicago Police Board sifted through 39 candidates and spent $500,000 to conduct a search for a new superintendent of police after Garry McCarthy was fired in the wake of a scandal over a police officer killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

One of three finalists for the Chicago job was former Spokane, Washington, police chief Anne Kirkpatrick, who grew up in Memphis and served as a patrol officer for more than three years in Memphis, 1982-1985.  

Dysfunction in the Windy City
If there is any comfort to Memphians in knowing that other cities have trouble getting out of their own way, consider this:  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel rejected the board’s three candidates and named his pick from the existing Chicago police force – but only to be an interim chief, replacing the “old” interim chief of five months.

Emanuel offered the job to DeKalb County, Georgia, director of public safety Cedric Alexander, but then withdrew the offer under pressure from certain Chicago council members and political powers who insisted on a local guy. Alexander, along with Kirkpatrick, were the top two police chief candidates -- not from Chicago -- who were selected during that city's search.  

Strickland has asked interim Director of Police Services Michael Rallings to apply for the permanent post, and Rallings says he will apply.

There are two schools of thought on the subject of a new, permanent chief – that it should be someone who came up through the ranks of the Memphis department, or it specifically should be someone with a fresh perspective from outside. 

Inside Out
If any candidate is uniquely positioned to bridge both those concepts it is Kirkpatrick, who presently travels the country as an instructor for the FBI's Law Enforcement Executive Development Association.  As such, she teaches leadership to executives in local agencies and covers such topics as the problem employee, credibility, discipline and liability. 

This week Kirkpatrick was in Arizona teaching a class.  But, it seems Memphis is never far from her mind.  In fact, Kirkpatrick’s’ parents and two brothers live in Memphis, and she seems to find herself in Memphis regularly – sometimes for work with the FBI and sometimes to visit – as recently as last weekend.

“I’m a change agent,” Kirkpatrick said while on a break between class sessions.  “I think I would be a good fit for Memphis.

“Memphis has almost double the murder rate per capita as Chicago,” Kirkpatrick noted.

“What I am looking for is to be a part of a city and police department that wants to really change the culture of violence,” Kirkpatrick said. “Chicago met that criteria.  Memphis meets that.

A Time to Heal
“I want to come into an agency that struggles or has some major issues, and I want to be part of the healing of that.  I actually think I would be a good healing leader for them and could set them on a course for an excellent future.

“As a community, too, Memphis needs to not accept the level of cultural violence that they have accepted.  They play a part in that as well.

“If I were to apply for the Memphis job it would be as an outsider with an insider’s foundation,” said Kirkpatrick, who also is a licensed attorney in Washington. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Calling Their Bluff...

Politicians and Lawyers Meet in a Room Called "Bluff" 

Sounds sketchy, right?

Even the district attorney wasn't sure.

"Fasten your seat belts," Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich quipped before an invitation-only forum on body-worn cameras and in-car videos April 6 at University of Memphis.

Judges, defense attorneys and community organizations showed up to hear what a daunting and costly task will be managing body-cam footage and public records requests.  Weirich co-hosted the pow-wow with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

"Body cameras are here to stay," Weirich told the gathering.  She didn't seem to be bluffing.

Click photo link to watch video of the presentation and question-and-answer session.

Link to video of Body-Cam Forum, Memphis, TN