Interviews begin for police director candidates

Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Police Director Mike Rawlings is getting closer and closer to retirement scheduled for mid-April.

Mayor Jim Strickland will present his choice from seven contenders for police director to the city council.

More | 7 candidates under consideration for MPD director

“Last time the process, I was a participant and I thought it was a good process,” said Rawlings.

Memphis Police Officer Mike Rallings was chosen to be police director in 2016.

The Memphis mayor chooses the police director and the city council says yes or no on the choice.

There are seven contenders and four are from other police departments in other states and three are deputy chiefs with the Memphis police department.

“I think they are some great candidates. I mean I know all of them. And they are law enforcement professionals that would serve our city well and I think the mayor has got a tough decision to make,” he said.

Mayor Jim Strickland does not make the decision without input from, the community.

The city posted on its website how the process works noting on Thursday there was a virtual panel with the seven candidates and multiple hours of interviews with each person.

The panels involve leaders from civic organizations community organizations and leaders and the members of the city and police administration and law enforcement.

More | Background breakdown underway on MPD Director finalists

City council member Ford Canale says one thing to consider is that the police Director serves under the will and pleasure of the mayor.

“This is mayor Strickland’s last term,” said Canale. “We’ll have a new mayor. I think that whoever Mayor Strickland appoints and gets through council will have a fair shot at it but there is no guarantee.”

Ford Canale told WMC Action News 5 that he is confident that Mayor Strickland will present his choice for police director to the city council for approval at the first council meeting in April.

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