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Letter: Norwalk Should Search Nationwide For Chief

NORWALK, Conn. — The accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to

To the Editor,

Police Chief Harry Rilling retired Friday after 41 years of serving the Norwalk Police Department, and I wish him well in future endeavors.

Now we are in the process of deciding who the new chief of police will be. The temporary appointment of the current deputy chief is an appropriate choice by the police commission, which consists of the mayor and his two appointees.

So far, the mayor has failed to articulate any plan or the process for making a permanent selection, except for his statement that the new chief will come from within the current ranks. The mayor in his comments may lead some readers to infer that the choice already has been made.

As a candidate for mayor last year, I took a pro-active position on this issue. I believed then as now, that as the sixth largest city in the state we should conduct a national search for the permanent replacement. We should cast a wide net to select the most qualified candidate. This inclusive search allows candidates from within the Norwalk department to apply as well.

I am happy that The Hour supported this same proposal in its June 20 editorial.

In light of the current problems that our city is facing, residents need to know the selection process will be inclusive, fair and rigorous. Norwalk deserves the best.

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