Mayor Ginther says new Columbus police chief could be in place ‘in a few weeks’

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther indicated Thursday morning that a new police chief could be in place “in a few weeks.”

In a series of tweets responding to a news story about his request that the Department of Justice investigate the Columbus police force, Ginther wrote, “We have made steadfast efforts to advance reform in the Division of Police through policy changes and collective bargaining and, in a few weeks, new leadership.”

The city has been searching for a new chief since Thomas Quinlan stepped down in January after one year and was returned to his previous role as a deputy chief. On Wednesday, the city released the names of 34 people who applied for the position.

The list included:

  • Elaine Bryant, deputy chief of Detroit police
  • Derrick Diggs, chief of Fort Myers, Florida, police, and former chief of Toledo police
  • Avery Moore, assistant chief of Dallas police
  • Estella Patterson, deputy chief of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police in North Carolina
  • Ivonne Roman, co-founder of 30×30 Initiative and former chief of Newark, New Jersey, police
  • Perry Tarrant, executive director of FBI-LEEDA and the other finalist when Quinlan was hired

The list also included four people who are currently or were recently with Columbus police, even though Ginther has said the new chief will be an outside hire. Those applicants were: deputy chiefs Timothy Becker and Kenneth Kuebler, commander Robert Strausbaugh, and former commander and current Pickaway County dog warden Gary Cameron.

In the past year, the department has come under scrutiny as a national spotlight falls on the issue of Blacks being killed by law enforcement. Incidents involving Columbus police include its handling of protests Downtown last summer and the shooting deaths of Andre’ Hill and Ma’Khia Bryant.

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