SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - The city's search for the next top cop is underway as police chief Shelly Zimmerman prepares to step down in March.
On Saturday, the first of six community forums was held in Lincoln Park allowing the community to weigh in on the description for the job and what kind of police chief they want.
"We want to find out what they view as the top characteristics for their police chief, but also what they feel the top three significant issues or priorities the next police chief will be facing," City of San Diego Chief Operating Officer Scott Chadwick said.
Many forum attendees echoed the same sentiment when speaking of their future chief, saying they want someone who can identify with the city and connect with its communities through compassion.
Participants were allowed to ask questions and even address the entire forum on stage.
"We want the police chief to understand the community in its context and its color," one attendee said into a microphone for all to hear.
The meeting was eventually split into groups so that participants could discuss their suggestions and dive deeper into dialogue, and then groups were later mixed so the process could repeat itself once more.
"We're going to be gathering all the information, putting it together and then issuing a report so that our councilmembers, as well as the public, know what was discussed at these community forums," Chadwick said. "We've got our work cut out for us between now and March because we have to have that selection made, and then ultimately it requires us to have city council confirmation."
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26 in Mira Mesa. For the full list click here.
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