ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — As Arlington County searches for a new police chief, the Arlington NAACP Branch wants their voices to be heard.
NAACP members want the county government to include more public involvement as they select a new police chief. NAACP President Julius J.DSpain Sr. said residents need openness and transparency and for the new chief to understand the needs of the community.
“We know there’s a critical conversation going on around America today when we’re talking about police departments, so we want to ensure that the process is fully transparent from the beginning to the end. Not just when a few online questionnaires are provided,” said Spain.
Spain said as an Arlington resident since 2009 he would like to see someone who lives and resides in the area where they work and to get to know the area where you serve. Kent D. Carter 1st Vice President of the Arlington NAACP said he would like to see “Full transparency of the entire selection process with public engagement/feedback prior to the selection of the new police chief is critical to improving trust between Arlingtonians, the police department, and the county government.”
In the past Arlington government officials have provided the public only limited opportunities for direct involvement in the selection of top officials according to city officials.
Community Activist, Zakiya Worthey said, “Whomever we choose should reflect the values that Arlington espouses and be like-minded in our goals for measurable and achievable equity in our county.”
Charles Andy Penn will continue to serve as acting police chief, fulfilling the county’s most recent permanent police chief Jay Farr, that retired last year.