Search for new police chief continues

Chief Alan Goldberg at the Unity in the Community kickoff event. Photo by Eric Bond

Takoma Park police chief of 5 years, Alan Goldberg, resigned March 10. The search for his replacement is still underway.

Goldberg resigned due to personal reasons, according to the city’s statement. He had worked in law enforcement for 39 years. Prior to becoming police chief in October of 2012, Goldberg worked with the Montgomery County Police Department.

In the city’s statement, city manager Suzanne Ludlow noted Goldberg’s improvements to Takoma Park including “lowest level of crime in many years in most categories,” and the city’s “positive reception to Chief Goldberg’s public statement after the recent presidential election.”

The city is currently asking citizens to help determine the process for finding the new police chief. The proposed process for the Police Chief’s selection is a three-step plan. First they will “establish criteria for selection (preferred characteristics and qualifications), then retain a firm to assist with recruitment, screenings, and selections, and then finally select the candidate.

“I am very interested in hearing what the councilmen and citizens suggestions are and thoughts are and recommendations,” says City Manager Suzanne Ludlow.

The search is national, but does not exclude qualified citizens of Takoma Park. There has been a lot of conversation about the benefits of having a Takoma Park native, versus having an outsider bring in new ideas and experiences.

“I think that there is enough interest in making sure that we have the best police chief possible for the city of Takoma park, and that may be an internal candidate or an external candidate. But we are looking fully for that,” says Ludlow.

Currently three police captains are being cycled as Police Chief. Captains Frishkorn, Collington, and Bowers are rotating responsibilities while the search continues. A police chief will be selected within the year, but it could take upwards of six months to select a candidate.

“I would love it if it could be within six months, but I am not sure that that is possible. There is a lot of different things that people are thinking about, and I think we are just going to weigh all the options for who makes that best match for us,” says Ludlow.