Two finalists named in Columbus Police chief search

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two finalists have been named in the search for the next chief of the Columbus Division of Police.

  • Thomas Quinlan, Interim Chief of Police, City of Columbus Division of Police
  •  Perry Tarrant, former Assistant Chief of Police, Seattle Police Department, Seattle, Washington

“These two candidates best represent what we are looking for in our next Police Chief – a transformational leader, change agent, innovator who will achieve excellence using the model of 21st century policing,” said Deputy Chief of Staff Dawn Tyler Lee who is leading the search.

A public forum to meet the two candidates will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 6 p.m. at East High School, 1500 E. Broad St.

Thomas Quinlan

Thomas Quinlan (City of Columbus)

Quinlan started his career in law enforcement as a police officer in Madison Township.

He joined the Columbus Division of Police in 1989 and has served in a variety of roles. In 2013, he was named Deputy Chief of the Patrol North Sub Division. He was named Interim Chief after Kim Jacobs’ retirement.

He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences in Criminal Justice. In 2001, he earned a Master in Science in Human Resource Administration from Central Michigan University. Quinlan is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class 249 and the Police Executive Leadership Institute provided by the Major Cities Chief’s Association.

“I am dedicated to advancing the mission of the Division through strong leadership while maintaining a focus on community. I am purpose driven, have an unyielding passion for public service, currently achieving each of the specified responsibilities in the position announcement and exemplifying each of the attributes identified as the ideal candidate,’ ” Quinlan said in his job application.

Tap here to read Quinlan’s entire job application.

Quinlan was asked to provide written answers to a number of questions. You can read those answers here.

Perry Tarrant

Perry Tarrant (City of Seattle)

Perry Tarrant began his law enforcement career in 1980 with the Tucson Police Department. He rose to the rank of Captain, leading the Investigation Division, Specialized Response Division and South Patrol Division.

In 2014, be became Yakima, Washington’s Public Safety Director and leader of its Gang Free Initiative.

Tarrant was named an Assistant Chief of Police in Seattle in 2015 as part of a shakeup in that department’s leadership. He retired from that position in September of 2018.

“Since retiring from Seattle’s Police Department, I have remained active in public safety by consulting in the areas of law enforcement technology, leadership, and collaborative police reform. I focus on organizational structure for effective policing and constituent relationships (internal and external). Additionally, I hold a Subject Matter Expert designation from the International Association of Chiefs of Police Collaborative Reform Initiative-Technical Assistance Center and am a Past President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). My résumé is replete with leadership experience, assignments, and accomplishments,” said Tarrant in his job application.

Read Tarrant’s entire job application.

Tarrant was asked to provide written answers to a number of questions. You can read those answers here.

Nationwide Search

For the first time in the history of the Columbus Division of Police, the city is considering candidates from outside its own ranks for the position.

Columbus Civil Service Commission rules were changed in 2017 to allow for outside candidates to be eligible for the job. Traditionally, only internal candidates have been considered.

“The people of Columbus and our police officers deserve the very best person to fill this role, whether that person comes from inside or outside the division.,” said Mayor Ginther.

The search is being led by Deputy Chief of Staff of External Affairs Dawn Tyler Lee.

“Like you, I have high expectations for the next chief of police. I am looking for a change agent who will pursue innovation and excellence in policing, someone who will use the recommendations of the resident-led Safety Advisory Commission as a roadmap to guide the Division,” said Ginther. “I am looking for someone committed to increasing diversity among police officers, aligning how we police with community expectations, and approaching this position as an opportunity to serve and protect every person in every neighborhood.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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