Watch the video of the public forum from May 22
City Manager Lee Garrity today announced the selection of four finalists to become the city’s next police chief when Police Chief Pat Norris steps down at the end of June.
They are: former Police Chief Scott Cunningham of the Cary, N.C., Police Department; Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher of the Atlanta Police Department; Assistant Police Chief Kevin Leonard of the Winston-Salem Police Department, and Captain Alonzo Thompson of the Winston-Salem Police Department. See applicant information below.
The public is invited to attend a public forum to meet and address the candidates on Thursday, May 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber. The forum will be televised live on WSTV 13, the government channel on TimeWarner Cable. Citizens may also submit their thoughts about the candidates online through the city Web site.
The finalists were selected through a national recruitment process managed by The Waters Consulting Group. A diverse pool of 57 applicants from small and large police departments throughout the United States applied for the position. The applicant pool was narrowed down to the four finalists through interviews, panel assessments, and background reviews.
Cunningham is a 28-year law enforcement professional. He has served with the Purdue University Police Department; the Highland, Ind., Police Department; the Tampa, Fla., Police Department; and the Cary Police Department. Cunningham spent 24 years with the Tampa Police Department and retired as the assistant chief of operations. In that position, he supervised 750 sworn officers serving in the Patrol and Special Operations divisions. Most recently, Cunningham served as the chief of police in Cary. As such, he enhanced community outreach and citizen involvement programs, implemented new investigative programs, increased diversity and agency demographics, and implemented enhancements to school safety zones.
Dreher has served as chief of operations of the Atlanta Police Department since 2002 and is responsible for the day-to-day operations for a department of 1,836 sworn officers and 350 civilians. He oversees the Criminal Investigations Division, the Field Operations Division, the Support Services Division, the Division of Taxicabs and Vehicles for Hire, and the Field Inspections Section. As chief of operations, Dreher has reorganized the department to ensure efficient and effective delivery of police services. He has more than 28 years of law enforcement experience, and began his career in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. He rose to the rank of commander, responsible for providing police service to the area encompassing Capitol Hill, The White House, and downtown Washington.
Leonard is the liaison and staff command for the Office of the Chief of Police, where he provides control, accountability, and coordination of department staff, internal components, and special projects. In this capacity, he oversees the Recruiting Unit and the Evidence Management, Planning, and Personnel Management sections; provides oversight of all policy revision/implementation; makes final hiring recommendations, and serves as chief in the absence of the police chief. Leonard began his law enforcement career in 1981. He was a police sergeant in the Field Services Bureau and Administrative Services Bureau, where he implemented and supervised the department’s first foot patrol units assigned to public housing areas. He was promoted to lieutenant and worked in the Criminal Investigations and Special Operations divisions from 1999 to 2004. He was promoted to captain in 2004 and served as commander of the Professional Standards Division.
Thompson is captain of the Special Investigations Division. He has 24 years of law enforcement experience with the Winston-Salem Police Department, 19 of which have been served in supervisory leadership roles. Thompson started his law enforcement career in 1984 as a police officer in the Patrol Division. He was promoted to sergeant in 1989 and served in the Patrol and Criminal Investigations divisions, and as the coordinator of Basic Law Enforcement Training. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1995 and served in the Patrol Division, as staff liaison officer in the Office of the Chief of Police, and as field commander in the Patrol Division. He was promoted to captain in 2002. As a captain, Thompson led the police department’s participation in Operation Impact, a city-wide interdepartmental initiative to work with neighborhood organizations to improve blighted neighborhoods by dealing with nuisance properties.
Norris retired at the end of 2007 but agreed to continue to serve through the end of June while the city organized a search for her successor. The police chief leads a department with 514 sworn officers and 167 civilian positions, and manages a $59 million budget.
Kevin B. Leonard information [pdf/1p]
Alan J. Dreher information [pdf/1p]
Scott A. Cunningham information [pdf/1p]
Alonzo Thompson information [pdf/1p]