NAACP raising concerns about TPD candidate research

Published: Nov. 11, 2019 at 5:45 PM EST
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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News

November 11, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- New complaints have emerged about the process of hiring Tallahassee's next police chief from some of the members of the Community Partners Committee. Some have said that committee did not have enough information.

The group narrowed the list from 10 candidates down to a final 3.

The NAACP is calling on the City of Tallahassee to conduct extensive background checks of the remaining three candidates.

One community partner, Adner Marcelin, said that should have happened earlier in the process.

"If FDLE is doing it now, my question to the City is, why didn't we do it when we had 53 candidates who applied?" said Marcelin. "Who went and made sure that the qualifications that they claimed to have when they interviewed with the community panel matched that of their personnel records? That was squarely the job of the Florida Police Chiefs association, and as we learn that that stuff was not done, we have a major problem."

Marcelin is the President of the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP. He said he is concerned about what he perceives as a lack of information.

"I was under the impression that the committee vetted these candidates, which would have included a background check. It's criminology 101," said Marcelin.

He has requested public records on each of the officers, including the entire personnel file for each candidate, internal affairs investigations,

and citizen complaints.

"It was my understanding that none of these candidates had anything in their background that would have precluded them from becoming police chief," said Marcelin.

Pastor Lee Johnson said the committee did the best it could with the information provided.

"We were not a research committee, we were a selection committee," said Johnson. "We were simply given their resumes and what the Florida Police Chiefs Association research yielded."

The community meet and greet is scheduled for next Monday, November 18; Marcelin is calling on the city to release the background checks to the public as soon as possible.

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