Select New Police Chief from the Outside

Antioch City Manager Jim Jakel, with input from the City Council and residents, will be deciding whether to hire a new police chief from inside the department or whether to hire a search firm to look outside for the best candidates.

My answer is – search for a new police chief. By doing so we’d be assured of having a chief who has no alliances with current personnel and who brings a completely objective outlook to the job. Our recent Chief, Jim Hyde, brought to the table many new ideas, including the highly successful CAT team.

Back in 1991 Antioch was looking for a police chief. A city brochure asked for the following qualifications. (Regrettably, the city didn’t end up hiring from outside, choosing not only to promote from within but selecting for chief someone with no college degree and someone APOA was opposed to.)

Qualifications: Any combination of experience and education equivalent to 5 years of professional police experience with at least 3 years at command level and a Bachelor’s degree in police science, public administration or related field; Advanced Post Certificate, Post Management and/or Executive Certificate. Master’s degree desirable.

Ideal characteristics: A people-oriented leader who can establish sound working relationships with the City Council, Manager, staff and community and impart a sense of responsiveness and sensitivity, an effective manager who delegates both authority and responsibility appropriately and holds the organization accountable, a strategic rather than tactical thinker, one who is visionary, progressive and has exceptional long-range planning skills.

Competencies and Personal Characteristics: an effective listener, communicator/negotiator and team builder, accessible to the community, Council and employees, decisive once input has been received and viewpoints known and understood, a creative thinker, able to bring NEW solutions to traditional law enforcement problems, calm under pressure, good sense of humor, fair, unbiased, compassionate, utilizes non sworn personnel to provide support services to department, possesses a strong sense of professional and personal ethics and is adaptable to changes in community needs and issues.

Palo Alto was also seeking a Police Chief at the same time, using the search team Hughes, Heiss & Associations, Management Consultants. In addition to listing the qualifications and characteristics desired, they listed the following issues as needs to be addressed: How to increase department. morale (lower than desired due to various conditions), how to deal with the community’s changing demographics, how to approach the different crime and service needs which exist within the limited resources available.

Seems appropriate to note that Antioch has similar issues at this time, issues which are pertinent in the selection of a new Antioch Police Chief.  Select one from the outside please.

5 Comments to “Select New Police Chief from the Outside”

  1. Allen Payton says:

    While I respect Barbara’s viewpoint and information on this topic, I believe former Chief Dave Lewis did a fine job, even though he was selected from within the department, as did Chief Mark Moczulski. The same will be if the City Manager and Council choose Allan Cantando to be our next Chief of Police. Not only does he understand our community and has been committed to our public safety, he’s been involved in helping our youth through the Police Activities League and other community service, such as through the Antioch Rotary Club. Plus, he lives in Antioch, too.

    As far as education goes, Cantando has both a degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Public Administration, as well as a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston, which he completed three years ago.

    If City Manager Jakel and the Council want to open it up to outside applicants and let Acting Chief Cantando compete for the job, that’s fine. But at a time our city is suffering serious financial constraints, by choosing Cantando they will save both the time and money spent doing a search.

    Allen Payton

  2. Tim Wan says:

    As a resident of Antioch, I have positive experiences with the Antioch Police Department (APD) under Acting Chief Cantando’s watch. From my perspective as a resident, the APD is doing an excellent job. When I recently made a service call to the APD, I received excellent services from the APD. The dispatcher was excellent. The officer who responded to the call was likewise excellent. If the APD is doing an excellent job under Acting Chief Cantando’s watch, then he should be promoted to become the next Chief of Police. During this economic turmoil that the City of Antioch is experiencing, the City Manager should not entertain the idea of spending money (which the City does not have) to hire an outside consulting firm to search for the next Chief of Police. While I do not know what the internal department politics is like within the APD, I would venture to guess that by promoting from within, the City Manager would give the current sworn officers the hope that, someday, they too would have a fair shot at becoming the Chief of Police. There is nothing more demoralizing for the rank and file to see than when there is someone from within who is well qualified to lead the department, the City Manager would hire someone from outside of the APD to fill the position. The residents of the City of Antioch cannot afford to experience the uncertainty created by a decision to hire a consulting firm to search for the next Chief of Police. The City Manager cannot afford to make a mistake in this hiring decision. Why reinvent the wheel when the City of Antioch already has someone well qualified in Acting Chief Cantando to lead the APD?

  3. Iris Archuleta says:


    I couldn’t agree with you more. We are very fortunate to have Allan Cantando on our police force, and even more fortunate to have him as Interim Chief. One of the brilliant things about Chief Hyde was his ability and desire to grow and develop leadership from within the department. Working closely with APD as a crime prevention commissioner, the co-chair of the Youth Intervention Network, and on the board of PAL, I have gotten to know Allan Cantando. He has a passion and love for our city. He is able to effectively reach across race, socio-economic status and other divisive lines, and work with well with all folks.

    He cares about all of Antioch’s youth and families, and community safety drives him. I believe that he wants all Antioch citizens to enjoy safe and peaceful quality of life. I believe that Allan is smart, energetic, and committed enough to lead our city through tough times.

    Clearly, we already have a great Interim, and potentially permanent Chief, and I hope that the city will see the wisdom in supporting our own. I think Allan and the people of Antioch deserve it.

    Thanks Allen for reminding us all of that.


  4. Martha Parsons says:

    Thanks, Allen, Tim and Iris,

    I totally agree, that Interim Chief Allan Cantando has demonstrated over his years serving Antioch, the City need not spend any money to search outside the department.

    We can only benefit from his leadership and continuity of his service to the citizens of Antioch, especially our youth!


  5. berlin47112 says:

    what is very disturbing on that process is, that our city council is not taking any action. we’re in need of a police chief for well over a year now.

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