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Allentown wants your opinion on new police chief

By Randy Kraft, WFMZ.com Reporter, RKraft@wfmz.com
Published On: May 24 2013 05:30:45 PM CDT
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

What  kind of police chief do you want in Allentown?

You can share your opinion at a public form scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in City Hall.

The forum is an opportunity for residents to offer candidate characteristics, as well as issues they feel the new police chief will have to address.

It is the first step in the search to hire a new chief, being done before a job description is drawn up and advertised to attract candidates.

It also is the first of two public forums that will be scheduled to gather community input on the city's search for a  chief. The second will be held before the end of summer, after the city narrows its search to finalist candidates.

Allentown Police Chief Roger MacLean must retire before the end of this year under the terms of the Deferred Retirement Option Plan for veteran officers in the police union contract.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski hopes to hire a new chief by October. He has promised the search for a chief will be a transparent process “with substantial public input."

The city is paying the Massachusetts-based Strategic Policy Partnership $30,0000 to lead the search.

Robert Wasserman, chairman of Strategic Policy Partnership,  has said some information gathered at Thursday night's forum may be incorporated into the job description for a new chief.

The forum will be held in City Council Chambers.

It will be moderated by Joseph Carter, Senior Associate of Strategic Police Partnership, and Kutztown University Professor Gary Cordner.

Cordner, who teaches criminal justice at Kutztown, currently is doing to a study to help Lower Macungie Township if it wants to establish its own police department.

Cordner is a former police officer and police chief in Maryland. He serves on the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. He is past editor of the American Journal of Police and Police Quarterly and past president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Carter is former president of the  International Association of Chiefs of Police, the world’s largest professional organization of police executives. He also is former police superintendent in Boston, former chief of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police and former chief of the Oak Bluffs police department on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.