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Dec 7, 2010 7:15 PM by Greg Boyce

Search for Pueblo Police Chief on hold

Pueblo City Manager Jerry Pacheco has put the search for a new police chief on hold.

Finalists were in Pueblo last week to interview for the job, to be made vacant with the retirement of Jim Billings next spring.  After interviewing the six finalists, Pacheco met with the City Council and decided to put delay the process of selecting a new chief. He said he became aware of challenges facing the department.

"The Police Chief is a critical leadership position and I believe halting the recruitment process in order to focus on the identification of department issues, needs and challenges, will enhance our understanding of exactly what skill sets and competencies we need in our next Police Chief. I have learned a lot in this process and know that the challenges are not unique to the Pueblo Police Department but are real and cannot be ignored. Nationwide, police agencies are facing enormous fiscal, generational, cultural and technological changes that require trans-formative leadership. City Council understands this and agrees that the better we are able to identify our specific needs and challenges, the more successful we will be in finding a candidate who has direct experience and energy in tackling the types of issues and opportunities facing our Police Department."

Current Police Chief Billings supported the decision. "I am proud of the contributions I have made as Chief, but also recognize that the organization and community are changing and we need to be deliberate and concise in critical leadership decisions to set the new Chief and the Department up for continued success."

Pacheco said he will will commence the police department assessment immediately. 

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