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Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls calls for speedy Cincinnati police chief selection

WCPO Digital obtains list of 16 applicants

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CINCINNATI -- Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls is calling for a speedy search for the new chief in light of the recent violence throughout the city.

To date, there have been 16 applicants for the position. Scroll down to see a list of the applicants.

In a memo sent to City Manager Milton Dohoney Tuesday, Qualls said she attended the vigil of Christopher Burroughs, 52, who was shot to death on June 26. Just two weeks before, Dominque Hall, 22, also succumbed to injuries after being shot on June 12. Both homicides occurred in Kennedy Heights Park.

“We must move more quickly to find the best replacement in this critical leadership role in our police force,” Qualls wrote in the memo. “Easy access to guns, drug abuse and gang turf wars have led to the increase in violence and retaliation taking place on our streets, endangering innocent citizens and threatening the security of our neighborhoods.”

Through July 1, there have been 38 homicides in Cincinnati, of those a little more than half have resulted in an arrest, according to Cincinnati police data obtained by WCPO Digital.

By far, District 3 is the most violent in the city, with 13 homicides. There have been seven homicides so far this year in District 2, where Kennedy Heights is located.

Qualls wants Dohoney to fill the position by summer’s end, if not sooner, she said in the memo.

“[I] ask that you update City Council on the status of the hiring process before our August meeting,” Qualls wrote.

Last Friday, Dohoney announced the formation of a screening committee as the city continues its search for the next chief of police. The committee will review applications and make recommendations to Dohoney, who ultimately will make the hire.

WCPO Digital has obtained the list of applicants in Cincinnati's search for a new police chief.

The 16 applicants include:

West Palm Beach, FL Police Chief Vincent Demasi

Davenport, IA Police Chief Francis (Frank) Donchez

Haviland, OH Police Chief Consultant Robert Girod

Reading, PA Police Chief William Heim

Former Rockledge, FL Police Chief Ronald Krueger (Quit to be with family on 10/12)

Seattle, WA Deputy Police Chief Nicholas Metz

Former Richmond, VA Police Chief Bryan Norwood (Resigned on 2/13)

Former Rockdale, IL Police Lt. Donald Pezzuto (Retired 4/12)

Former Fairhope, AL Police Chief Bill Press (Retired 10/12)

Forrest City, AR Police Chief Edward Reynolds

Miami, FL Police Commander Raimundo Socorro

NY/NJ Port Auth. Dep. Superintendent Jerry Speziale   

Okaloosa County Airports, FL Chief Melvin Tennyson

Harrisburg Community College Adjunct Faculty's Mark Whitman

Harlingen, TX Police Chief Ellwood Whitten

Former Milwaukee, WI Asst. Police Chief Darryl Winston (Retired on 1/12)

Scripps station WPTV spoke to the West Palm Beach police chief, Vince Demasi, who previously worked for the Cincinnati Police Department for 37 years, about applying for the top cop position in the Queen City.

Demasi joined the Cincinnati Police Department in 1982 and served as the assistant police chief for 8 years. He took the police chief position in Florida last year.

In an interview Tuesday, Demasi told WPTV the Cincinnati police chief job would be a dream come true.

"I spent 37 years there first started as a police cadet progressed my way through the ranks. It's an opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do," said Demasi.

Demasi said he would like to be closer to his family, including all of his children who live in Cincinnati and his ill father.

"My dad's 85 years old. He's in a nursing home...This will present an opportunity to get back close to him. I've been spending a lot of time in airports flying back and forth to visit him for two or three days at a time. He's very ill and for me it's an opportunity to get back with him."

Police chief applications will be accepted until the position is filled with interviews beginning July 19, the priority application deadline, according to the city manager’s office. Paul Humphries, executive assistant chief under Chief James Craig, serves as the interim police chief until a replacement is selected.

WPTV contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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