After expanding its search for police chiefs twice to bolster its pool of outside candidates, San Jose released an updated list of finalists to lead the SJPD on Tuesday, adding police veterans from Alaska and Pittsburgh to join the four internal ones Candidates and a chief from East Bay join an alum division.
City manager David Sykes posted a memo Tuesday afternoon named Justin Doll, Anchorage, Alaska police chief, and Larry Scirotto, a retired deputy chief of police in Pittsburgh.
Doll and Scirotto, who have been chief finalists in Portland, Grand Rapids, Michigan for the past four years and in Nashville last fall, will meet with the remaining candidates on a virtual forum on Saturday to ask questions from residents and community members.
SJPD Acting Chief David Tindall, Deputy Chiefs Anthony Mata and Heather Randol, and Captain Jason Ta and Piedmont Police Chief and SJPD alum Jeremy Bowers round out the pool to lead the police force in the country’s 10th largest city.
Sykes extended the search late last month after Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and former Oakland chief Anne Kirkpatrick withdrew from the race shortly after learning they had been selected as finalists. Bowers, who had spent most of his police career in San Jose, stayed the only outside candidate.
“The goal of this recruitment has always been to find a diverse pool of candidates that includes internal and external perspectives,” he wrote in his memo on Tuesday.
The two new outside-finalists hail from cities with populations about a third the size of San Jose and smaller police forces. Compared to San Jose’s number of sworn officers of about 1,200, Anchorage has about 360 sworn officers and Pittsburgh has about 900.
Doll, a lifelong Alaskan, has been the chief of the Anchorage Police Department since June 2017. He joined his department in 1996 and was a member of the US Marine Corps Reserves until 2001. He held command positions in patrol and murder departments. was a member of his bomb squad and the SWAT team and a former instructor at the police academy.
Scirotto, who worked for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for 23 years, was one of three deputy chiefs and the
youngest deputy chief in the department’s history. He oversaw the downtown city police force and headed the Serious Crimes Division and the Division’s Professional Standards Division, which included internal affairs, training, and political oversight.
After a search that has taken more than a month longer than expected, many in the department are eagerly awaiting the selection of their new head. Several department sources have indicated that the vacancy has left projects on a waiting pattern as the department awaits instruction from the next boss. The command structure of the SJPD consists of deputy chiefs in the investigative and administrative departments. Tindall does not have an assistant deputy chief and competes with two commanders – Mata and Randol, who were recently his peers in rank.
Some city guides disagreed on whether it makes sense to widen the search again and what it might look like for the candidates who are already running. But Sykes pushed forward, saying late last month that while the internal pool of candidates was “very strong,” he “wanted to see if the external pool of candidates could be strengthened to ensure that external perspectives are included in the community process.”
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Forum of Police Chief Candidates
The city is hosting a virtual forum on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., where the public can hear about the San Jose Police Chief’s seven finalists. More information is available online at sanjoseca.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/2964/4738.
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