Police Chief Search Flawed, City’s Explanation Makes No Sense

Letter to the Editor

Our city manager said that the Public Safety Commission couldn’t be allowed to participate in the selection of a new police chief–because, as the Review put it (emphasis added), “DeWolfe countered by saying as commissioners they’re part of the community and that would make them a community-based or public panel, which she excluded from having because it would limit the candidate pool.” 

Then city spokesman John Pope “said that South Pasadena residents were represented on the panels after all.” In his words (emphasis added): “We can share that South Pasadena residents were represented, as two residents were among the panelists.”

So any participation by members of the community constituted the formation of a community-based panel, which would have made the police chief search untenable, but don’t worry, because the search for a police chief did include members of the community, though the search for the police chief with community representation didn’t constitute the formation of a community-based panel. 

No one notices that this argument eats itself? If members of the community could participate in the search without constituting a community-based panel and making the search for a new police chief untenable, then why couldn›t some of those community representatives be members of the Public Safety Committee? 

The city keeps making arguments that make no sense at all. If two members of the community could be in the room for the police chief search, it would have been useful for Greg Hall to be one of them. Judging by the city›s shifting argument, there was no reason for him not to be there.

– Chris Bray