Columbus police chief: Community leaders split on finalists

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Columbus community leaders are weighing in on what’s important to them in a new police chief.

The final four candidates for the position, announced Monday, will field questions from the public during a virtual town hall meeting Wednesday.

DaVante Goins, vice president of Black Liberation Movement of Central Ohio, and Densil Poreous, executive director of Stonewall Columbus, both feel differently about what’s coming next.

Goins said he isn’t thrilled with the finalists for police chief.

“Clearly, we’ve been failed time and time again and the only thing we can, as a community, now do is vote out the elected officials because they aren’t clearly getting the message,” he said.

Porteous said he feels hopeful for the department.

“What I do hope is that those finalists we do get to engage with represent a diversity of perspective, a diversity of background and understanding of what it means to, just to be,” he said.

The search comes after a tumultuous year in the city — protests last summer and police-involved shootings.

Goins questions how one candidate made the short list –Derrick Diggs is under investigation for misusing a city credit card in Fort Myers.

“Isn’t that what CPD is trying to get out of?” Goins said. “Isn’t that what the mayor is trying to change, in a sense?”

Porteous said what’s key for him is humility and vulnerability, but also someone who listens to the community.

“I’m someone who’s open to listening to everyone, difference of opinion or not,” he said. “I think it’s important to sit down, to understand where someone is coming from, to set some clear expectations together.”

Both Goins and Porteous said they’ll be watching Wednesday’s townhall and are encouraging everyone to listen in.

“Not just Black Columbus, but all of Columbus is watching and we’re going to hold you accountable,” Goins said.

The town hall will take place Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. You can watch it here on nbc4i.com or on the NBC4 app. People wishing to submit a question for the town hall may do so by emailing it to policechiefsearch@columbus.gov.

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