NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today announced the six semi-finalist candidates for the Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and provided an overview of the steps undertaken by the International Association of the Chiefs of Police (IACP) as part of the executive search process.
Semi-Finalist Candidate Profiles (in Alphabetical Order):
- Thedrick Andres, Sr.
- DeShawn T. Beaufort
- David Franklin
- Anne E. Kirkpatrick
- Jarad L. Phelps
- Michelle M. Woodfork
Candidate Profile Development
The IACP, in cooperation with the City of New Orleans, worked to define the qualifications of the ideal candidate by crafting the candidate profile. The candidate profile was created leveraging the feedback gained from six in-person community meetings held in each Council district, internal and external stakeholder interviews, interviews with each City Councilmember, a job analysis, an evaluation of the policing environment in New Orleans and community and NOPD employee surveys.
Once the candidate profile was completed, the IACP developed a digital full-color recruitment brochure describing the position, an overview of the police department and overall information about the City designed to elicit responses from the most qualified applicants. The recruitment brochure includes the candidate profile. The application was opened June 6 and closed on June 23. The IACP received 33 applications.
All application materials were submitted directly to the IACP. The IACP conducted an initial review of all resumes and cover letters as they were received. Applicants were categorized based on their qualifications relative to the department’s needs, as identified through the candidate profile. Evaluation factors included:
- Experience as a chief or at a command level, including breadth and depth of experience
- Patterns of employment, including frequency of job changes and employment gaps
- Experience in an agency and policing environment similar to the NOPD
- Demonstrated record of accomplishments in areas of specific relevance to the NOPD
- Formal education and training
- Written communication skills and the extent to which the candidate expresses an understanding of the NOPD
- The candidate’s ability to present and correlate their qualification to the agency’s needs
This initial review process resulted in independent ratings by an IACP panel of trained police executive subject matter expert (SME) assessors. The SMEs identified 17 highly qualified candidates for initial screening.
The 17 highly qualified candidates who were identified after the initial resume review moved on to the initial screening, which included an internet screen to identify information about a candidate’s current agency, news stories and social media accounts and a structured virtual interview. The structured interview included a mix of standard executive search questions, as well as questions tailored to the candidate profile. The interviews were independently scored by SMEs. At this stage, the IACP search team recommended a group of six of the most capable and compatible candidates for consideration to become semi-finalists.
The six semi-finalists will participate in a full-day assessment center held in New Orleans on July 20 and 21. All IACP assessment center is designed in accordance with the “Guidelines for Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations” issued by the International Task Force on Assessment Center Guidelines.
At the Assessment Center, candidates will complete several exercises that evaluate both the technical competence and appropriate fit for the position. Exercises may include some or all the following types:
- Written Exercise – The written exercise presents candidates with many problems or specific scenarios at varying levels of complexity. The candidates are given a scenario typically handled at the target rank and instructed to provide appropriate responses in writing. These scenario(s) may be presented in the form of a letter, email, memo, graph, table or other internal document. Candidates will be required to respond to questions about the scenario(s) presented.
- Structured Interview – This exercise allows the candidate to respond to questions regarding their skills and experience. The questions are a mix of behavioral questions (in which candidates describe their relevant skills and experience) and performance-based questions (in which candidates respond to scenarios that are commonly handled by a police chief).
- Analysis Presentation – Candidates are presented with background information on a selected relevant topic and directed to prepare a presentation. They are given a designated period to give their presentation, which is followed by a question-and-answer session designed to challenge their presentation. The analysis presentation exercise simulates public presentations and/or presentations to command staff or subordinates.
- Role Play Exercise – The role play exercise simulates a meeting between the candidate and a citizen, a subordinate employee or a stakeholder of some kind. Although the exercise is a simulation, candidates reveal their supervisory/interpersonal skills in establishing rapport with the role player, uncovering relevant information, assessing the problem, listening carefully to the role player’s responses, making use of that information and coming up with a solution that will address the problem.
Candidates are systematically evaluated by a group of trained police executive based SMEs who have not participated in earlier portions of the screening process. Candidates will be evaluated on hundreds of benchmarks tied to a series of behavioral dimensions that capture the leadership competencies necessary to effectively lead a police agency. These dimensions include:
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
- Problem Solving
- Delegation and Control
- Planning and Organization
- Interpersonal Insight
Additionally, each candidate will participate in two panels, which include internal and external stakeholders. The panels will interview each candidate and provide written feedback that the IACP will include in the semi-finalist group profiles that are provided to the City.
Finalist Selection/Background Investigation
Following the assessment center and comprehensive background report, the IACP will compile and create a detailed summary of each candidate’s performance through the evaluation process. This Finalist Evaluation Report will be provided to the City, along with a report summary presentation. The City will then select the finalist candidates for interviews with Mayor LaToya Cantrell and her executive leadership team.
City Council Confirmation Process
Once a finalist has been selected, they will participate in the City Council confirmation process.