Lawrence’s city manager hopes to hire the new permanent police chief by the end of the year.
Even though city leaders expect several internal candidates to be in the mix, they also will conduct a national search.
“It’s a very important position for the community. Lawrence is an attractive place to have a law enforcement career and to raise a family,” City Manager David Corliss said. “I would anticipate that we would get interest from across the country, but also we’ll have a strong internal interest as well.”
Longtime Police Chief Ron Olin retired from the city Sept. 1 and has taken a job as director of security/internal controls at Kansas Athletics Inc. Corliss has appointed Capt. Tarik Khatib, an 18-year department veteran, as interim chief. Khatib has said he would be interested in the permanent job.
Corliss said the search timeline begins this month as the city begins to advertise the opening in local and national publications. In October he hopes to select candidates to interview in November. Corliss said he hopes a new chief will be named in December.
The city manager is responsible for the hire, but Corliss said city commissioners and community members will be involved in the process, including providing input on the values and attributes the next chief should have. Corliss also wants to see how candidates interact with commissioners and members of the public during interviews.
City Commissioner Rob Chestnut said Olin did a good job as chief but added that a national search gives city leaders the chance to infuse new blood into a position that one person held since 1987. He said the ideal candidate could come either from the inside or the outside.
“I think it’s really looking for the best person who’s going to be able to lead the department,” Chestnut said, “and probably take a fresh look at things and come to the job with some suggestions of things to work on, maybe have some new perspectives.”