NAACP wants new Dayton police chief to be committed to diversity and inclusion

DAYTON, Ohio — Leaders at the Dayton Chapter of the NAACP said the city may be moving too fast, and not casting a wide enough net in the search for a new police chief.

It’s been two weeks since former Chief Richard Biehl retired, and now the search for a new chief, ramps up. The NAACP wants to make sure the community’s voice is heard in the search for a new chief.

Dayton NAACP President Dr. Derrick Foward said, “We’re not saying there’s not qualified candidates, there may be qualified candidates but don’t just rubber stamp and say there’s no one else around.”

Foward and other leaders insist the chief of the Dayton Police Department is too important a position not to scour the country for candidates.

>> New interim police chief sworn in following Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl’s retirement

Dayton FOP union leaders confirm to me that Interim Chief Matt Carper is their preferred candidate but have not endorse anyone. The NAACP said they want a thorough search inside the department and around the nation.

NAACP Committee Chair Rev. David Fox said, “The new leadership has to be committed to diversity and inclusion.” And, Foward said, “The next chief must have a keen understanding of various cultures.”

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell reached out to city leaders today and was told they are still receiving applications. City leaders provided a timeline of things that have already happened like the appointment of a selection oversight committee and hiring of a search firm.

Things that will happen rapidly, on the city’s timeline, include the cutoff for applications, at the end of this month, then selection and screening of recommended semi-finalist and then finalists. The city said it hopes that it will lead to a new chief in October.

Mimi Stanford, of Dayton, said, “I hear gunshots out here all the time. This is an area where it is dangerous, and a lot of violence goes on.”

The NAACP said people that live in the city deserve a caring chief that can deliver community policing while reducing use-of-force complaints. The organization doesn’t care whether the new chief is a man or a woman or whether they are black or white.

“We just need the most qualified person that understands the culture of our community, that doesn’t have or harbor racism in their own souls,” Foward said.

Dayton police have been recruiting heavily in the community for new officers. The NAACPO wants a new chief to be involved too, to make it clear to communities of color that they are welcome in the department.