By the beginning of next week, City Manager Tom Barwin, working with city staff, will narrow down the list of police chief candidates from 13 to five.
The recently hired city manager said he will be working closely with police officials and city staff as he narrows the list.
He plans to meet with police commanders, supervisors and officers to get their input and suggestions about the new chief hire.
“I’ll have people help me since I am new to Sarasota,” Barwin said. “I’ll tap into all this experience to make sure we get a good match for our needs.”
And, after the list has been whittled, a committee will interview each of the five candidates. The city has yet to determine who will make up the interviewing committee.
Barwin, who has four years’ of experience as a police officer, wants the new chief to embrace an effort to bring community policing to Sarasota.
He also said he is interested in working with the new police chief on innovative programs, such as the High Point Initiative, a crime-fighting plan modeled after a program enacted in High Point, N.C. This initiative utilizes job training, employment, parenting, day care, substance-abuse treatment and housing, transportation and family assistance in the place of frequent arrests in crime-plagued areas.
“The police community is evolving,” Barwin said. “There needs to be a partnership between the police department and residents.”