Monday, December 8, 2008

Interim Police Chief makes sense

My post last Wednesday about the upcoming "Chief-less" Akron Police Force either timed out well .. or struck a nerve .. but APD is moving forward by naming Maj. Craig Gilbride as Interim Chief in the wake of Chief Michael Matulavich cashing in his vacation time early and leaving the office prior to his contract expiring at the end of the month.

Gilbride certainly knows his way around the cop shop .. with 30+ years on the force .. and his own sons in uniform with him. His resume includes supervising the Doug Prade homicide investigation in 1997-98 when he was Captain.

By rule .. it seems that even without being named the Interim Chief (IC), Gilbride would have been thrust in that position as the senior deputy chief and by the common sense of police chain of command. Still, it's good for the force to see city hall make it official -- as official as "interim" can be -- so that everyone knows where they stand when the ball drops New Year's Eve.

What isn't certain is when City Hall will fill the office .. and what criteria are most important to making a selection. I do know that Akron brass want to make the "right" selection more than a "quick" selection.

Still, what's right for the department in these trying times is open for debate. Should it be a by-the-book disciplinarian? or a hard-charging, lead-from-the-front street officer? Does it need to be a veteran with 30+ years of experience? Or could it be a 40-something, law-and-order badge with high-tech ideas?

So much to debate ..

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