Archive for Monday, January 24, 2011

Finalists for Lawrence’s next police chief named

Candidates will participate in open house next month

January 24, 2011


Finalists to become the Lawrence’s next police chief are the city’s interim police chief and police administrators from Overland Park, Olathe, Wichita and Lincoln, Neb.

“The candidates we’ve selected for the final round of interviews offer exceptional leadership, numerous years of professional expertise in law enforcement, and each would bring an excellent repertoire of skills and personal experience to Lawrence as the next chief of police,” said City Manager David Corliss. “The pool of candidates vying for this position is a testament to both the reputation of our community and our police department.”

These are the five candidates:

• Brian Jackson, a captain with the Lincoln, Neb., Police Department.

• Mark Kessler, a deputy chief in Overland Park.

• Tarik Khatib, Lawrence’s interim police chief.

• Clark Morrow, an Olathe police captain.

• Tom Stolz, a deputy chief in Wichita.

An open house for the public to meet the five candidates will be 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Carnegie Building, 200 W. Ninth St.

Corliss has been searching for a police chief since longtime chief Ron Olin retired from the city in September and became director of security and internal controls at Kansas Athletics Inc.

The city advertised nationally for the position and heard from 41 applicants from eight states, Corliss said, before he narrowed the list to five.


Tarik Khatib, Lawrence's interim police chief

Tarik Khatib, Lawrence's interim police chief

• Khatib, 43, a captain who has worked in the department for more than 18 years, became the interim chief on Sept. 1.

“I’m pleased to have made it this far,” Khatib said. “I appreciate the confidence of the people that have allowed me to get this far and will continue to try to do my best in the process.”

Before beginning his law enforcement career in Lawrence, Khatib, originally from Lake Forest, Ill., graduated from Kansas University in 1991 with a sociology degree. He has worked in many divisions of the department, including a stint leading a joint city and county drug task force.

Clark Morrow, an Olathe police captain

Clark Morrow, an Olathe police captain

• Morrow, 48, is the current patrol division captain for the Olathe Police Department. He has worked for the Olathe department for 22 years, attended Kansas State University for three years and later earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill.

“Lawrence is a great city. I find it to be an intriguing position,” Morrow said. “This is a chance for me and the other candidates to get to know the city and department better and see if any of us are a good fit and if the department is a good fit for us.”

He was offered the job as Emporia police chief in 2007 and briefly accepted it, but according to news reports later changed his mind because his family could not support the decision to make the move to Emporia.

Tom Stolz, a deputy chief in Wichita

Tom Stolz, a deputy chief in Wichita

• Stolz, 52, is the head of Wichita’s investigations division and has served as a deputy police chief for 10 years in his 29-year stint there. He said his experience in Wichita has allowed him to deal with high-profile cases in the state’s largest city and also reach out to community members there.

“I feel like Lawrence has that same philosophy and same flavor and that the police department works well with the community,” said Stolz, who earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Newman University in Wichita and has a master’s in administration of justice from Wichita State University.

He has some familiarity with Lawrence because two of his sons earned degrees at KU.

Brian Jackson, a captain with the Lincoln, Neb., Police Department

Brian Jackson, a captain with the Lincoln, Neb., Police Department

• Jackson, 48, as a captain in Lincoln has commanded for five years a drug enforcement task force in the area that includes several agencies. He’s been a Lincoln police officer since 1987 and started his career with the Hastings, Neb., department.

He sees his experience in working on crime issues in Lincoln as a strength because of the many similarities between Lawrence and Nebraska’s capital. Both cities are home to major state universities.

“The values are very similar, which makes me very comfortable in looking at Lawrence,” Jackson said.

He has earned two degrees in public administration — an undergraduate one from Doane College in Lincoln and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska.

Mark Kessler, a deputy chief in Overland Park

Mark Kessler, a deputy chief in Overland Park

• Kessler, 54, has been a deputy police chief in Overland Park since 2002. He currently commands the support services bureau and has worked in many facets in his 32 years with the department, including as a detective.

“I’m just looking forward to the process,” he said.

He has degrees from Washburn University and the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo.

All five candidates have experience with prestigious police leadership programs. Khatib, Morrow, Jackson and Kessler have all graduated from the leadership training program at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. Stolz and Kessler are graduates of the Senior Management Institute for Police.


The city’s job description listed the chief’s salary at more than $105,000, depending upon experience.

At the Feb. 10 open house, Corliss said, members of the public are encouraged to talk to each candidate one-on-one. He said he would accept confidential e-mail feedback on candidates after the event, provided that the messages include the community member’s name and contact information.

The candidates will tour Lawrence that day and conduct interviews with committees made up of members of the public, city employees and other officials. Corliss, who has authority to make the selection, said he expected to decide in February.

“The chief of police position is one that is deeply connected to the community,” Corliss said, “and I want the citizens of Lawrence to have an opportunity to meet the candidates, thank them for their interest in our community, and open a dialogue with them about the challenges and opportunities we face.”


raginredhead 6 years, 2 months ago

Khatib doesn't look so frightening because it's an informal picture with a leafy background and natural lighting. The others are formal pictures, so they have their game faces on.

skinny 6 years, 2 months ago

I think Khatib should get the job too. Police Department’s should always promote from within.

BruceWayne 6 years, 2 months ago

is the final decision made by Core-less? really?

someguy 6 years, 2 months ago

Two of the candidates didn't even bother growing a mustache and should be disqualified.

friendlyjhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Like the idea of promoting from the local ranks. If he is good enough to be selected for the interim job, he is qualified for the permanent job too!

lawrencerulz 6 years, 2 months ago

Looks like three of these candidates stand above the rest based on qualifications alone. Looks like they are just throwing Khatib a bone here. My guess is that Kessler or Stolz get the gig. Both have been 2nd in command at their respective departments for many years and have more experience than the others, not to mention Masters degrees. I believe Khatib is one of the least tenured Captains at LPD and possibly one of the least experienced of the group of finalists. I think external change is the best recipe at this point. And also, to second the point, the new chief should really be sporting a killer 'stache.

xfactor 6 years, 2 months ago

Olin has a Ph.D. I feel making this mistake in your comment doesn't qualify the rest of your comment to hold any relevance.

EarthaKitt 6 years, 2 months ago

I agree with someguy. If you can't show the courtesy to grow a mustache you shouldn't even be considered. Same goes for the military. Lip caterpillars scream authority. If you're not man enough to grow facial hair then you're not man enough to wear a uniform. This policy, however, is just another way both professions discriminate against woman.

barlowtl 6 years, 2 months ago

On the other hand, a mustache can hide much.

blindrabbit 6 years, 2 months ago

41 applicants, 8 states!! Seems kind of odd that 4 of the 5 are from Kansas and one from nearby Lincoln, Nebraska! Any thoughts or comments???

calwt262 6 years, 2 months ago

Sam Elliott must not have applied. The best candidate is sporting maybe a 0.5 EMEU.

Socially 6 years, 2 months ago

Think it's time for new blood in the LPD. Would certainly like someone with more street knowledge than Khatib and doesn't have some skeletons in his closet.

somedude20 6 years, 2 months ago

Steven Seagal Ron Jeremy Jesse Ventura and Magnum PI (as played by Tom Selleck) are all great ideas for the King of Police vacancy

Fedupfreddy 6 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence better call and talk to the Emporia Police before they spend too much time and energy on Morrow. He was offered the Chief's job there, accepted it, then a day later gave it back. His wife and kid didn't want to move. That tells me that #1 he obviously didn't communicate with the family, #2 is not a man of his word & #3 his own home agency, Olathe, didn't hire him for their Chief's job. Makes me wonder what they know about the guy they Lawrence doesn't. #4 he is one of the people that has run the Olathe PD into the ground. The dude from Wichita just looks like a tool with the 70's hair do.

irvan moore 6 years, 2 months ago

i know we want to be a big city but i think Lawrence is better suited to having a small town guy in charge. do some of the rest of you remember when we were Mayberry? we had local guys for city cops, Gardner, McCafferty, Fox, Crossfield, Coons, Johnson, Crady, those were local guys and they were great cops, did real community policing.

irvan moore 6 years, 2 months ago

and how could i have forgotten Aftwalter, great bunch of local guys.

jimroberts 6 years, 2 months ago

I plan on being at the meeting to formulate an opinion based on qualifications and not looks/mustaches... It appears we have five very qualified candidates to be our community's next police chief.

I like what I have seen and heard about Khatib. The officers I have spoken with really like him and support his vision of the police department. He rose from the ranks of officer to now Captain. He was described to me as a forward thinker and someone who is willing to listen to what others have to say. He has put together a new department website; initiated a new hiring policy to get experienced/qualified officers on the street quicker; and has streamlined work product at the police department.

Although, I do not have any information on the other candidates, on face value, I also like Jackson from Lincoln. He has the experience and has also worked in an university environment. The Lincoln Police Department (LPD) also has a very good reputation of being an innovative and progressive department with emphasis on community policing.

blindrabbit 6 years, 2 months ago

3 of 5 with mustaches!, not that all that common anymore!

kitchentable471 6 years, 2 months ago

Please let them choose one of the candidates from out of the area. We need new blood.

black_butterfly 6 years, 2 months ago

I would be very interested in seeing each of the candidates files and see if there were any internal affairs investigations. I would also like to know what each candidates view on racial profiling is. I want someone that is going to get these drug dealers off our streets. We need someone who is intelligent and open enough to know that all drug dealers dont' have cornrows, brown skin and live on the East side. The Lawrence drug dealers come in all races and socio -economi levels and live in all areas of Lawrence. YES even west of Kasold!!!

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