Others believe the list for a new police chief is short because there aren’t many qualified candidates.
“So the population of people who might go for a job like New York are probably only coming from about 200 large police departments across the country,” says Jack Greene, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University.
Even if candidates have the leadership and law enforcement skills, they may not have the political savvy. Or they might not want to move to another city. Or, they may fear that moving will risk their current pensions.
As a result, Greene says, “There are only a handful of people who have really-big city police experience.”
And while politics can be a factor in who gets the job, political savvy is also a job requirement.
“Police commissioners, police chiefs, have to have a pretty strong ego, and a pretty large ego, because there’s almost a crisis du jour in these places that have to be managed and have to be dealt with both administratively, but also politically.”