The results are in and people want the next Athens Police Chief to be community minded.
The public was invited to take a survey describing the various attributes they felt were important for the City's new police chief. The questions highlighted professional qualifications, management styles, and leadership qualities.
With 364 responses from mostly Athens residents and business owners, the survey showed most wanted to see experience and a community focus.
The top five issues respondents said the new chief would face on Day 1 include:
- leadership and motivation
- community policing
- visible in the community
- recruiting and retention
- community interaction and communications
As one respondent wrote: "Have a relationship with the community. Watch and teach your officers. Be out in public so people can get to know you."
Texas law enforcement experience and law enforcement credentials were selected as important by 73 percent of respondents, while only 34 percent chose education.
The survey was part of an intensive hiring process that started with the City receiving 42 applications for the police chief position. That has been reduced to the five finalists.
The finalists will be in Athens on Wednesday, Dec. 9, for a series of interviews with the City's management staff, a committee composed of area law enforcement officials, and a citizens committee. That night, the five finalists will appear at a meeting to introduce themselves to the public.
Thursday, Dec. 10, the finalists will be back for a last interview with the City Manager and City Council.
Watch our weekly newsletter and our Facebook page for more on the search for a new police chief.