Brookings searches for new police chief

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 9:39 PM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The search for the next Brookings police chief is winding up as the City of Brookings held a community forum today with the police chief finalists.

The forum was completely open to the public and community members were able to ask the candidates questions.

Jackie Gomez-Whiteley with Meliora Public Safety Consulting says this helps give the community transparency

“First of all, transparency in the process. Second it gives community members a voice and reaffirms the value of community input from the police department to the city manager from the city team,” said Jackie Gomez-Whiteley, Partner with Meliora Public Safety Consulting.

There were a lot of people interested in the position from the start.

“With about forty candidates that expressed interest in Brookings from across the country. You can hit all four corners where we had people of interest wanting to come to Brookings to be the next police chief and we’re done to three tonight,” said Mark Yokoyama, Partner with Meliora Public Safety Consulting.

He says the extensive process shows how important this search was for the city.

“The city council, the city manager wanted to go through a very in-depth process to find that best fit candidate and what that tells you, what that tells me is that the city council and the city manager care very much about public safety,” said Yokoyama

He says many groups were taken into consideration when conducting the search.

“When you talk about what makes up a community, it’s not just the residents, it’s not just the businesses, it’s not just special interest groups, it’s also the college community because that is a large part of this community,” said Yokoyama.

Organizers and community members hope today’s forum will help in the process of finding the next police chief.

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