Ferguson just completed a search for police chief to replace Delrish Moss, who left Ferguson in November 2018. Moss felt confident that his legacy would be continued through Assistant Chief Frank McCall, who had become his right-hand man. McCall was hired to implement the consent decree that Ferguson was a party to in 2016.
The right person was right there. They could have just promoted him. Moss highly recommended that they do so. But no, they didn’t do that. And this is where the story becomes all too familiar among African Americans.
The police search that began in November 2018 was cancelled days before final interviews were scheduled in February. Why? A new search was opened in March, and five applicants were invited to interview in mid-April. But three candidates dropped out days before the interviews, leaving just two candidates – McCall, and Jason Armstrong. One, selected by the outgoing chief to replace him with over a decade experience as chief, the other a Georgia resident with only a month or two experience as an interim chief.
So after an eight month process that unfortunately boiled down to just two-candidates, the interim city manager, with the approval of City Council is poised to appoint the “Not McCall” candidate for police chief. The optics is clear. They could have saved us a lot of time and effort if they would have stated this upfront – know what I mean? The mayor and council want a police chief they hope to micro-manage.