A national consulting firm tasked with finding Surprise’s new police chief has narrowed its search to four candidates.

Since November, the search for a new police chief has been handled by the Morrison Group, a Colorado-based recruiting firm working with the city to find a replacement for former Chief Dan Hughes.

Hughes was terminated in April after the Surprise Police Department’s employee association submitted a letter of no confidence to the City Council regarding the former chief’s leadership.

Consultants charged with finding Hughes’ replacement have heard concerns from the community about how the new leader must restore morale and a sense of professionalism to the city’s police department and be willing and able to work with employee organizations.

The new police chief must also embrace community policing, where officers are assigned to a certain beat, or portion of the city, and understand the fabric and crime trends of that particular neighborhood, residents say.

Interim City Manager Mark Coronado said the four finalists are starting on a level playing field and, despite two of the candidates leading law enforcement agencies and living in Arizona, weren’t selected because of state ties. More than 100 applications were received for the position, which is expected to be filled by March, according to a timeline presented last year to City Council.

Monday, the four finalists took tours of City Hall and the Surprise Police Department before later meeting with residents and the business community during an informal meet and greet. The candidates were expected to meet Tuesday individually with three different panels, including community leaders, Valley law enforcement professionals and Surprise management teams, for intensive interviews.

“At the end of the day, we’re looking for proven leadership and respect within their organization,” Coronado said. “We’re looking for that seasoned professional that can bring instant credibility and leadership to the city.”

The following information was provided by Surprise.

• Frazier has served as El Mirage’s chief of police since 2007. Prior to his appointment, he served for 32 years with the Phoenix Police Department, where he rose through the ranks to the position of executive assistant police chief.

Frazier joined the Phoenix Police Department in 1975 and worked in the patrol division, community relations bureau, drug enforcement office, planning and research bureau, investigations division, and as liaison officer to the city manager’s office. He holds a bachelor of science from Arizona State University and a master of education from Northern Arizona University.

• Joshua Copley has served as the deputy chief of police in Flagstaff since 2006. Copley joined the Flagstaff Police Department in 1985 and has worked in both patrol and investigations.

Copley, who is a certified bomb technician, earned a master of science degree in public administration from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor of science in business management from the University of Phoenix. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and served six years with the United States Coast Guard. He also serves as chairman of the Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission.

• Sid Fuller has served as police chief in Farmers Branch, Texas, since 2006. Prior to that appointment, Fuller served with the Irving, Texas Police Department for 23 years. Starting as a patrol officer in 1983, he worked his way through the ranks to the rank of assistant chief.

Fuller, who is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, acquired experience in all areas of the police agency, including patrol, school resource, investigations and technical services. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Tarleton State University and a masters degree in criminal justice from the University of Texas-Arlington.

• Keith Kilmer has served as police chief in San Bernardino, Calif., since 2009. Previously, Kilmer led the Bell Gardens California Police Department as chief. He started his career with the Long Beach (Calif.) Police Department in 1982 and worked his way through the ranks to commander.

During his tenure in Long Beach, Kilmer worked in patrol, investigations and internal affairs, and commanded the communications center. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police.

Kilmer is a three-year veteran of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps and holds a bachelor of science and juris doctor degrees from Western State University.

Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or zcolick@yourwestvalley.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.