Coronado received 136 applications from those interested in becoming the community’s next police chief, according to City Manager Blair King.
The police chief oversees a staff of 87 and a $9 million budget. Compensation ranges from $140,000-167,000, depending on experience, plus benefits. The deadline to apply was Feb 15.
The applications came from throughout the country, according to the city, which declined to identify how many were from within the department's current force.
“We can't say out of fairness to other applicants how many of them might be from Coronado,” a spokeswoman said.
Chief Louis Scanlon announced his coming retirement in December. He is set to leave the department in April after six years in the post.
In its job announcement the city was looking for “an individual who is focused on service-oriented policing, is comfortable being in the public eye and has the ability to connect with the community on a personal level.”
Because the chief plays such a pivotal role, King said that he wanted “as many voices as possible” in the selection process and plans to assemble three panels with four members each for interviews that will begin in early March.
Councilman Al Ovrom was selected to represent the City Council on the hiring committee in a 4-1 vote this week. Councilwoman Barbara Denny voted no because she said she felt the entire council should have a voice.
“This is an important position, Denny said. “The men and women in blue interact with our citizens. We should all be on the committee.”
Mayor Casey Tanaka said that would be a “terrible mistake.”
He pointed out that the city manager, not the council, is responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the city. The police chief ultimately answers to the city manager, not the council.
“Mr. King is being gracious to let one of us sit in,” Tanaka said “Letting all five of us sit on the committee strips him of his responsibility.”