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Chicola Selected to Help Interview Police Chief Candidates

Post Date:10/15/2007

Contact: Cindy Uken
Public Information Coordinator
City of Palm Springs
760-323-8250

October 12, 2007

In an unprecedented move designed to underscore the importance of the City Council’s policy on neighborhood involvement in Palm Springs, City Manager David H. Ready has included a representative from the Neighborhood Involvement Committee (PSNIC) to help select the City’s next Chief of Police.

Nick Chicola, vice president of the Deepwell Estates Neighborhood Organization, a member of the NIC’s Crime and Safety Committee, and a six-year resident of Palm Springs, was selected by his peers to represent the PSNIC on the interview panel. The PSNIC works with the City Manager and staff to address matters of concern to citizens and other neighborhood interests. The PSNIC is comprised of elected representatives of Neighborhood Organizations that have become officially recognized by the City through an application process.

“I want someone who understands the mentality of residential crime,” Chicola said. “I was tremendously honored to be selected to sit on the interview panel. This is really giving the citizenry of Palm Springs an opportunity to voice their opinion on whom the next Police Chief will be.” Joining Ready and Chicola on the interview panel will be a City Council subcommittee of Councilmembers Chris Mills and Ginny Foat, Police Chief Gary Jeandron, Rob Parkins, former Palm Springs City Manager and current General Manager of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a member of Desert Highland Gateway Estates Community Action Association, and a member of the Police Advisory Board. Chicola has long had an interest in the City’s law enforcement operations. Last fall, he authored and administered a crime and safety survey in the Deepwell Estates Neighborhood. “The crux of it was, in spite of the fact that we had a moderate amount of burglary in our neighborhood, people were very confident with our Police

Department’s response to those crimes,” Chicola said. “It was a very good news story for our Police Department. Actually, confidence was very high. They thought police responded quickly, that they had excellent follow through. Residents were confident police were doing their job.”

The survey will be conducted annually, Chicola said. The second survey is scheduled to be taken later this month. Approximately 65 people have applied to become the next Chief of Police in Palm Springs, according to Ready. The application deadline was Aug. 31. Interviews with finalists are scheduled to begin in late October. Ready said he expects to announce the new Chief in November, and the successful candidate will officially take office Jan. 1. The City retained an executive search firm, Avery Associates, to conduct the Chief of Police recruitment to replace Chief Gary Jeandron who is retiring in December.

Based on preliminary interviews, the field will be reduced to a short list of candidates and invited to Palm Springs for the final selection process. The new Police Chief will be the City’s 12th since 1940 when the City took over the Police Protection District.

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