JPD chief candidates in Juneau; public invited

The Juneau Police Department

The Juneau Police Department (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

The team selected to rate candidates for a new Juneau Police Chief reads like a “who’s who” in criminal justice and public safety in the capital city.

Three finalists are in Juneau on Wednesday and Thursday for interviews and Assessment Center exercises used to demonstrate how they react to the daily situations they will encounter as head of the  department.

Their demeanor and responses will be rated by Capital City Fire and Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge,  City Attorney John Hartle, District Attorney Dave Brower, Alaska State Troopers Lt. Steve Hall, AWARE Shelter’s Mandy O’Neil Cole, and of course, Juneau City Manager Kim Kiefer.

CBJ Human Resources Director Mila  Cosgrove says the rating team represents a good cross-section of Juneau.

“I think we’ll get a lot of different perspectives.  And you know the Chief of Police is a very important position is our community.  It’s very visible, has a major impact on not only the policing program, but how the citizens of the community view their government,” she says. “I think it’s important that we have somebody that people feel comfortable with.”  

Current Police Chief Greg Browning is not part of the team, but will be watching and listening, and will give his feedback to the raters.

The public’s perspective is also important, Cosgrove says, and residents’ feedback will be given to the rating team.

The finalists are Don Studt from Birmingham, Mich; Bryce Johnson, of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Bill Musser, of Meridian, Idaho.  Cosgrove says all have had police management experience.

“We’re looking for somebody who has solid experience in managing a police department.  Somebody with good experience managing budgets, program areas, somebody who has solid experience in terms of their ability to develop a good esprit de corps and manage that workforce in a way that’s positive and keeps people engaged in what they’re doing,” Cosgrove says.

 Assessment Center exercises are open to the public on Wednesday, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., and on Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Each candidate will make a presentation and take questions from the public between 2:45 p.m.  and 4:45 p.m., Thursday, followed by a reception from 5:00 p.m. to  6:30 p.m.  All events are in Assembly Chambers in CBJ City Hall.