Interviews & Citizen Oversight

The responsibility to interview a candidate should – and reasonably does – require that one interviews with one’s independent judgment. If the interviewer, himself or herself, is under someone’s else’s watch, then the interviewers aren’t truly independent (and candidates see that, too).

There’s a Police and Fire Commission meeting tonight, at 6 PM. The principal purpose of the meeting is an interview process for candidates for sergeant. The interview portion of the meeting is a closed session, with open sessions before and after.

It’s Item II. A (New Business) that’s worth considering this morning:

Consideration of Discontinuing Chief and/or Command Staff Attendance at PFC Candidate Interviews.

This should be, in a politically well-ordered community, an easily resolved question: the civilian members of a Police & Fire Commission, at the very least, should conduct interviews independent of, and outside the presence of, leaders of the police department (“Chief and/or Command Staff”).

It should never have been otherwise. It is an expression of weakness and insecurity that it should continue otherwise.

Whitewater will see, tonight, how her Police & Fire Commission addresses the authority of civilian commissioners to conduct genuinely independent review.

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