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.”

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