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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Hunt for St. Pete police chief turns to YouTube

— Mayor Rick Kriseman has asked the semifinalists for the city’s police chief position to make YouTube videos of themselves.

“What is the best way to go about getting 2-3 minute videos from each of the 10 candidates?” Kevin King, the mayor’s chief of staff, asked in an email Monday to the consultant assisting with the selection process. “We’d like for them to upload a video to YouTube for us to show some constituency groups.”

King suggested the candidates “touch on one thing about themselves (personal or professional) that is not covered in either their cover letters or resumes ... .”

“We are not concerned about the quality of the videos,” King wrote.

Higginbotham emailed each of the semifinalists and gave them information to upload the videos.

“I think the video component gives the candidates an opportunity to express themselves a little more,” King said Thursday. “Resumes don’t always serve people well.”

He said four community groups will meet at City Hall on Monday to review the resumes and watch the videos.

“I did not consider the request to be unusual, in fact it has become the norm in the corporate world,” semifinalist Terrence Jay Pierce, a police captain for the Montgomery County Department of Police in Rockville, Md., wrote in an email Wednesday. “I completed the video today and it should be available soon.”

Assistant Police Chief Melanie Bevan, one of two current administrators in the St. Petersburg department who are semifinalists, complimented the approach.

“I think the YouTube video is a great idea, as it illustrates the Mayor’s commitment to go beyond traditional hiring methods in order to engage the community in the selection process,” Bevan wrote.

“As a candidate, it provides me a unique opportunity to personalize my resume and give the stakeholders a snapshot of who I am and what I have to offer our city,” she wrote.

Neither Assistant Police Chief Luke Williams, the other in-house candidate, nor the other semifinalists contacted for this story replied.

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