To the editor:
I write regarding your Oct. 26 article, “New Police Chief Faces Delays, Resistance.” Readers who have not seen earlier News-Tribune stories — or followed the process closely — might not be aware of the thought and care that has gone into the police chief search.
This past spring, city manager Rob Hillard conducted five listening sessions to determine what our community desires in its police chief and police department. One hundred eighty people from all segments of the community expressed a clear vision for policing that focuses on developing positive relationships between police and the community.
The panel that reviewed all applicants included five people who had extensive experience in police work. Four of the five are Oberlin residents and one of the four is a former city council member. Two of the four are members of the civil service commission, which oversees the city’s policies for police and fire personnel. Oberlin’s human resources administrator and the city manager also worked with the panel. Mr. Warfield emerged as the clear preferred candidate from this process.
As an Oberlin citizen, I find it both disturbing and unacceptable that the three police sergeants have questioned the search process by implying Mr. Warfield is unqualified and they have also bypassed the city manager in sending a letter to members of city council. Their actions show fundamental disrespect for the city’s administrative structures and processes.
Their behavior is a clear indication that change is needed in Oberlin’s police department. I urge community members to join in supporting the city administration and the new police chief in working for a police department that realizes the vision that Oberlin citizens have expressed.