Oakley residents have until Friday, January 10 to provide input on what questions they would like to ask potential Police Chief Candidates as the City of Oakley moves forward in replacing former police chief Bani Kollo who was promoted within the county.
The City of Oakley put out the following post last night:
If you could ask the Police Chief candidates one question, what would it be? Please offer suggestions. If you can’t think of a question, like one already submitted. That with the most likes will be added to our interview process.
While it’s certainly in good taste to seek out public opinion which I can support, the attempt is a misfire for many reasons.
For starters, they are only doing so via social media and it can be argued that many folks who live in Oakley do not have a Facebook account and may not have an opportunity to chime in. The City Facebook Page also has less than 1,000 followers and in a city with 37,000 what is not a lot of exposure. Furthermore, what occurs if multiple questions have the same amount of “likes”? A better route probably would be to place this question in the outreach email with a contact person to respond to.
Another way to look at this is the process is now in a situation where a candidate who is paying attention can view social media and have a series of potential questions lined up prior to an interview as opposed to the element of surprise. Answers are now predetermined as opposed to thinking on ones feet.
Finally, perhaps it would be best to flip the line of questioning around and ask questions to residents in order to give the selection committee an idea of what residents of Oakley are looking for in a new chief. Some questions could include:
- Should preference be given to local candidates?
- Should preference be given to a candidate who has worked within Oakley city limits in the past?
- What improvements in the Police Department would you like to see the new Chief implement?
- What is priority number one for the Oakley Police Department?
- What management style would you prefer from a Chief?
With residents potentially answering these questions, the selection committee can get an idea of what is important to the community on top of their on philosophical beliefs which means the best candidate for Oakley will be selected.
By Michael Burkholder