7 candidates under consideration for MPD director

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 5:50 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The search for the next Memphis Police Director is heating up as the City of Memphis released the names of seven finalists in a nationwide search.

The search is being conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), which was the same group that led the search in 2016.

Finalists include three internal candidates with the Memphis Police Department and include Deputy Chief Sharonda Hampton, Deputy Chief Samuel Hines and Deputy Chief Michael Shearin.

More: City of Memphis releases list of finalists for new police director

The other four finalists are candidates outside of the department and include Joel Fitzgerald who currently serves as Police Chief in Waterloo Iowa and has worked in Philadelphia and Fort Worth Texas, Anne Kirkpatrick who has 38 years of experience in policing and has been with eight agencies, four as a Chief of Police, Joseph P. Sullivan, a temporarily retired, 28-year-veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department and Perry Tarrant who has 34 years of law enforcement experience and is a retired captain with the Tucson Police Department and a past assistant chief of the Seattle Police Department.

“We are excited to review those backgrounds and for the mayor to make a decision on who the mayor would like to appoint to the position of police director,” said Alex Smith, Chief of Human Resources for the City of Memphis. “Certainly, there is insight and understanding in terms of the current dynamics of Memphis and the current dynamics of the Memphis Police Department, but what we want to do is evaluate all of the candidates.”

Alex Smith, Chief of Human Resources for the City of Memphis said 300 people responded to a community survey about things they’d like to see in the next Police Director, which are all factors the Mayor will take into consideration when appointing a candidate.

“Looking for a police director who focused on crime and crime reduction, focuses on building partnerships and collaborations with other organizations, also around officer training and development and building this police department culture,” she said.

Over the next few weeks, Mayor Strickland will meet with each candidate, and decide who he would like to appoint for the position. That individual will then have to be confirmed by the Memphis City Council during the first council meeting in April.

Chief Smith also said the Mayor is planning to create a process for the community to share information relating to the final seven candidates to help in his decision.

To read the full bios of each candidate, visit here.

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