NORTH ROYALTON – In the wake of former Police Chief John Elek’s retirement, the process of selecting his replacement is well underway.
Ward 6 Councilman Dan Kasaris inquired about the process during city council’s safety committee meeting March 21, and Safety Director Bruce Campbell explained to council how the process works.
The process is guided by the city charter and the Civil Service Commission, made up of three members of the community.
On March 13, the civil service police chief exam was administered to five applicants – three sergeants and two lieutenants. Per city charter, only the rank of sergeant and higher, internally within the department, qualify to take the test.
Test results were expected within a week or so, Campbell said.
“Then we’ll have the scores and determine the list. The top two candidates, the mayor has the opportunity to interview, and then we’ll go from there,” Campbell added.
In early 2012 when former Police Chief Paul Bican retired, Elek and Jim Cutler were the top two candidates interviewed by Mayor Bob Stefanik. Elek was ultimately chosen and retired March 17. As the senior lieutenant, Cutler has been appointed to serve as the acting police chief until the new chief is selected, likely sometime this month.
“All the police officers that reach the level of sergeant and lieutenant are good officers and good candidates for this position,” Campbell said, after the meeting.
Stefanik and Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw, safety’s chair, agree the pool of candidates are highly qualified, and the city will be in good hands whoever is chosen.
“I would feel comfortable with any one of these candidates stepping into the position,” the mayor said.
“First and foremost, I appreciate former Chief Elek’s service to our community. He’s done a lot for the department,” Langshaw said. “We’ll be in good hands no matter who is selected out of the highly qualified pool of applicants. We will continue to have excellent leadership in the department, and I look forward to whomever the mayor selects as the next chief and will work with that person to maintain the safety of our residents for years to come.”