Police Chief Search Down To Three Finalists

Interviews, public reception scheduled for July 20

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 12:30 p.m.

The search for Spokane’s next police chief has been narrowed down to three finalists who will be interviewed and introduced to the public next week.

James Dermody of Seattle, Robert Lehner of Elk Grove, Calif. and Dominic Rizzi, Jr. of Yakima, Wash. will be in Spokane for interviews on Wednesday, including a public interview at the West Central Community Center that evening. Four panelists comprised of community members and city employees will conduct interviews throughout the day. Candidates will attend a public reception at 4:30 pm and answer questions from the public beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“Spokane has three extremely qualified candidates who want to be the next chief of the Spokane Police Department,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said. “We received interest from all over the country and these three rose to the top of the selection committee’s list.”

Dermody, currently a Seattle Police Department captain, has been with that department for 26 years and oversees the Force Investigations Unit. He earned an MPA from the University of Washington.

Lehner, chief of the Elk Grove Police Department, has nearly four decades of law enforcement experience and was appointed to lead the department in 2008. He holds an MBA from the University of Arizona.

Rizzi, currently chief of the Yakima Police Department, has nearly 35 years of law enforcement experience, including a 25-year-career with the Chicago Police Department. He has a master’s of science in public safety administration from Calumet College of St. Joseph.

Interview panels will focus on community policing, leadership, community engagement, and business operations and finance. Each of the finalists will participate in the public interview, which will be facilitated by Police Advisory Committee Chair Joan Butler to provide the best structure for the candidates. Questions from the public can be submitted in advance to policechiefsearch@spokanecity.org or in writing at the public interview. Butler will read questions to each of the candidates.

Condon expects to announce his selection within a few days following the interviews. The selected chief will go before the City Council for confirmation, likely in early August.

A selection committee worked with search firm Strategic Government Resources to narrow the list of 31 applicants to 10 semifinalists. Members of the selection committee individually reviewed responses submitted by semifinalists to a written questionnaire and a recorded interview answering questions prepared by SGR to recommend a list of finalists.