Nashvillians weigh in on what they’d like to see in city’s next police chief

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Honesty and humanity. Those are the two qualities that Nashville resident Terrell Smith would like to see in his city’s next police chief.

There are five finalists competing to be top dog and replace long-time Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson, whose resignation was announced by Mayor John Cooper this summer.

Belmont student Joseph Baek thinks it would be best if the next chief is someone familiar with the community.

Of the five candidates, only one is from Metro Nashville. Interim Chief of Police, John Drake, has climbed the ranks during his 32 years of service to Music City.

“There’s like parts of Nashville that aren’t really being represented well. So I think if it’s someone that’s local and understands the different neighborhoods and different spots that would be able to help better,” Baek said.

Nashville native, Demetrius Roberts, says he just wants the city’s next police chief to uphold the law and treat everyone equally.

“Just be fair. If you’re going to work by the book, then work by the book. No grey areas. It’s black and white. Just keep everything balanced,” Roberts said.

The finalists will meet with an interview panel of residents and policing experts on October 29th and 30th. They will also answer questions from the Mayor’s Policing Policy Commission in a format that the public can view.

They will then each meet with Mayor Cooper individually and will meet with Metro Nashville public safety employees and community leaders.

By charter, Mayor Cooper will select the next chief of police.

You can read more on each finalist below:

  • John Drake: Interim Chief of Police Drake has served Nashville as a member of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) for 32 years. His previous positions include deputy chief for community supervision and commander of the Central Precinct.
  • Troy Gay: Assistant Chief Troy Gay is the chief of staff for the Austin Police Department. Assistant Chief Gay has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement, including seven years of experience at the assistant chief level.
  • Darryl McSwain: Chief McSwain has served as the chief of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police for the past two years. Prior, he served as the assistant chief for field services for the police department of Montgomery County, Maryland, a jurisdiction of more than 1 million residents in the metropolitan Washington area.
  • Larry Scirotto: Mr. Scirotto is the former assistant chief of professional standards with the Pittsburgh Police Department, where he oversaw policy and program development, training and education and internal investigations. Prior, he oversaw the Major Crimes Unit.
  • Kristen Ziman: Chief Ziman serves as the chief of Illinois’ second-largest police department, Aurora. She joined the Aurora Police Department in 1994 and became Aurora’s first female police chief in 2016.

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