JAMESTOWN – The search for Jamestown’s next police chief may soon come to an end as the city’s mayor has narrowed down the search to three candidates.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist tells WNY News Now he hopes to finalize a potential offer to one of the three by November’s City Council Voting Session; with a public announcement coming either later this week or early next.
The Mayor says the final three, which out of respect for the candidates will not be publicly announced at the moment, are made up of both internal and external applicants.
Sundquist says he is looking for a person who is community oriented and able to address tough questions like: What should policing look like in Jamestown?
“All three are very driven individuals that really want to make the community better,” said Sundquist. “Each one has had years of experience working with a police department, but more importantly the top attribute that I am looking for in a police chief is someone that is willing to adapt and change as the needs of the community change.”
The Mayor says he wants the candidate to be able to understand community policing efforts and be able to make changes within the department for the benefit of the entire city.
“When I talk about community policing, I’m talking about a force that is out there, that is being with our kids in the schools, that is being able to walk the beat in neighborhoods, so that as people are sitting on their porches the police officers know who they are, they know what is going on in the community, that is the type of community policing that we need to get back to,” explained Sundquist. “We’ve focused so much on law and order, and so much on putting people in jail, that we forgot that one of the key components of a police department is knowing the community that they serve.”
Additionally, the Mayor says he wants to appoint a chief that would advocate for more wraparound services like mental health outreach and domestic violence prevention.
Sundquist has been working with a police chief recommendation committee on finding a good candidate for the job after Police Chief Harry Snellings retired in July.
In the meantime, Jamestown Police Lieutenant Timothy Jackson is serving as interim chief. Sundquist says Jackson was among applicants, but, didn’t say if he is among the final three.
He says several members of Jamestown Police have applied for the position.