Durham Residents Meet Police Chief Candidates In Public Forum
Posted October 17, 2002 9:54 a.m. EDT
DURHAM, N.C. — By the end of the month, Durham should have a new police chief. On Wednesday, candidates answered tough questions from residents about their past and Durham's future.
Charles Austin of Columbia, S.C., Capt. Marvin Evans of Newport News, Va., and Doug Scott of the U.S. Department of the Interior are in line for the vacant police chief position. The candidates met with residents, who asked them tough questions about the changes they would like to see for the Bull City.
Richard Mullinax came to see them up close and personal.
"I think the best candidate is going to get the job in this instance," Mullinax said.
Linda Capers is confident this time the process to find a new chief has finally worked.
"I think situations like this provide an opportunity for us to learn and how to proceed differently the next time," she said.
The Durham Police Department has been under fire after being criticized by the mayor for its job performance. Evans admits the chief's job is one filled with plenty of hurdles.
"The image, the clearance rates, the rising crime," he said.
Austin said the first challenge he sees is at the core.
"This department has bene subjected to a lot within the last few months, and I think for it to move forward, there has to be some mending and healing," Austin said.
Scott said he believed the city needs commitment.
"What I'd offer the officers and the city of Durham is stability in leadership ranks since this is the last job I want to occupy," Scott said.
City Manager Marcia Conner said she plans to name a new chief before the end of the month.