Beacon Appoints Police Chief Search Committee

City Council hires consultant to find candidates

Terry Nelson, a member of the Beacon City Council, will lead a 13-member committee charged with overseeing the search to find the city’s next police chief, Mayor Lee Kyriacou announced this week.

Nelson and the committee members will work with Public Sector Search & Consulting, a California firm that specializes in finding candidates for police leadership positions. The City Council agreed earlier this month to pay the firm $24,000 to assist in its search for a successor for Kevin Junjulas, a Cold Spring resident who retired as chief three weeks ago. 

The members of the community appointed to the committee are Deborah Felder, a New York City Department of Education guidance counselor who is involved in the local NAACP chapter; Marty Mayeski, a deacon at St. Joachim & St. John the Evangelist and the Lewis Tompkins Hose Co. chaplain; John Perez, the pastor at Faith Temple Church of God in Christ; John Rembert, an Army veteran, minister and former City Council member; Molly Rhodes, director of Teach for America; and Stefon Seward, a 2017 Beacon High School graduate and co-founder of Beacon 4 Black Lives.

The Beacon officials on the committee are Gina Basile, the city’s human resources director; William Cornett, the interim police chief; Michael Deane, chair of the Human Relations Commission; Sands Frost, a police lieutenant; City Council Member Air Rhodes and City Administrator Anthony Ruggiero.

Public Sector has created an anonymous survey that will be distributed online and in print, in English and Spanish, to members of the community and the Police Department about what qualities they would like to see in a new chief. 

The recruitment firm will also interview municipal staff and community members to ask similar questions and help create a “position profile” to use when soliciting applicants, according to Gary Peterson, the company’s president and CEO, who met with the City Council by videoconference on Monday (July 27). 

Peterson said the position would be advertised to associations of police chiefs and other law-enforcement leaders as well as “places likely to provide a diverse pool of candidates,” such as professional groups of black, Hispanic and female officers.

Peterson said he hopes to have six to eight candidates available for interviews by the beginning of November. That pool would be reduced to three or four for a second round of interviews, including with the mayor. 

Nelson also hopes to organize a public “meet the candidates” event for finalists, either in person or virtually, depending on public health guidelines at the time.

“We want to get this right,” he said.

Community members will be able to ask questions of the candidates without revealing their names or addresses, he said, because “it’s important to reach people who are afraid to come forward about their experience with policing now.” 

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