August 13, 2018 – The public sector is in the midst of major transformation. It faces an array of challenges that range from shifting public expectations to budgetary pressures and a growing demand for operational efficiency. To successfully navigate these issues, government organizations need leaders who are focused, tenacious and adaptable, with the capacity to deal with significant scale, complexity and ambiguity, say recruiters who specialize in the field.
Just recently, the City of Pasadena, CA retained Los Angeles-based executive search firm Teri Black & Company to lead its efforts to find a new police chief. The city said it selected the search firm because it has “a very good understanding of our community and organizational culture” from prior engagements. Chief Phillip L. Sanchez announced his retirement in March and John Perez is serving as interim chief while the search is underway.
“Public input is crucial to selecting the best individual to lead the department,” said Pasadena city manager Steve Mermell. “I encourage all community stakeholders to attend the upcoming forum(s) and share their thoughts on the characteristics and professional background they feel are most important when selecting a new chief.”
Three public meetings have been scheduled to gather community input regarding the qualities most desired in a new chief as well as identifying the key issues he or she will need to address.
Similar internal meetings will be held with police department staff, the memo said. The city expects to begin accepting applicants in September, with screening and interviews taking place in October and November. The interview process will include a community panel in addition to law enforcement professionals and municipal agency administrators.
Ms. Black and her firm have been dedicated to public sector executive search since 1999. Serving communities with populations over one million to towns as small as 2,000, she has built a substantial base of clients across the Western United States that continually rely upon her personalized service and recruitment expertise. Her clients also include special districts, utility agencies and non-profit organizations. Before entering the executive search field, Ms. Black had a career in local and federal government, serving in management positions where she oversaw public safety, finance, human resources, communications, public/legislative affairs, information technology and strategic planning.
Turning to Search Firms
A number of cities across the U.S. have turned to search firms to find new leaders. Here is a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
In separate assignments, Keller, TX-based Strategic Government Resources has been chosen to find new police chiefs for two municipalities in Pennsylvania, Newtown Township and Edinboro. Strategic Government Resources, founded in 1999, partners with local governments to provide a variety of services.
Colorado Springs, CO-based KRW Associates, which was recently tapped to find two new police chiefs in Colorado. The assignments involve the University of Colorado in Boulder and the city of Greely. Managing partner Jerry Williams is leading both searches along with senior associate Susan Eaton.
Bob Murray & Associates recently assisted in the selection of David Nisleit as the new chief of the San Diego Police Department. Mr. Nisleit has served as the San Diego Police Department’s assistant chief. Bob Murray & Associates clients include cities, counties and special districts, both large and small.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media