Mayor Cooper gives key update on police chief search

 Five finalists for police chief, including Interim Chief of Police John Drake (pictured), have been announced.

Mayor John Cooper has joined the Metro Department of Human Resources to name five finalists who will advance in the search for Nashville’s next police chief.

Metro Human Resources and a special search review committee have selected these finalists:

John Drake: Interim Chief of Police Drake has served Nashville as a member of the Metropolitan Police Department (MNPD) for 32 years. His previous positions include deputy chief for community supervision and commander of the Central Precinct.

Troy Gay: Assistant Chief Troy Gay is the chief of staff for the Austin Police Department. Assistant Chief Gay has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement, including seven years of experience at the assistant chief level.

Darryl McSwain: Chief McSwain has served as the chief of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police for the past two years. Prior, he served as the assistant chief for field services for the police department of Montgomery County, Maryland, a jurisdiction of more than one million residents in the metropolitan Washington area.

Larry Scirotto: Mr. Scirotto is the former assistant chief of professional standards with the Pittsburgh Police Department, where he oversaw policy and program development, training and education and internal investigations. Prior, he oversaw the Major Crimes Unit.

Kristen Ziman: Chief Ziman serves as the chief of Illinois’ second-largest police department, Aurora. She joined the Aurora Police Department in 1994 and became Aurora’s first female police chief in 2016.

The search review committee includes Deborah Faulkner, chief of the Franklin Police Department; Jill Fitcheard, executive director of Nashville’s Community Oversight Board; Mark Gwyn, former Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director; Torry Johnson, former district attorney general of Metro Nashville and Davidson County and Diane Lance, director of the Metro Nashville Office of Family Safety.

Finalists will meet October 29 and 30 with an interview panel consisting of the following residents and policing experts:

Sheriff Daron Hall: Sheriff Hall is currently serving his fifth term as the elected sheriff of Davidson County. He is the immediate past president of the National Sheriffs’ Association and has been a leader in decriminalizing mental illness.

Dr. Forrest Harris: Dr. Harris has served as the tenth president of American Baptist College for the past 20 years. The author of several books on the Black Church tradition and the host of the Sirius radio program, Plumbline, Dr. Harris has been a national leader in bringing academic theology together with justice activism and educational practices. He also serves as director of the Kelly Miller Smith Institute and as assistant dean for Black church studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

Andrés Martinez: Martinez is the policy director for Conexión Américas, a nonprofit dedicated to building a creating a welcoming community and expanding opportunities for Latino families, and the chair of the Community Oversight Board.

Kathleen O’Toole: O’Toole is the former commissioner of the Boston Police Department, the former chief of the Seattle Police Department and the former chief inspector of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate, an oversight body responsible for bringing reform, best practice and accountability to the national police service of the Republic of Ireland.

Sharon Roberson: Roberson is the president and chief executive officer of the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, a 120-year-old nonprofit that helps women, girls and families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee to build safer, more self-sufficient lives.

Kristin Canavan Wilson: Wilson is the chief of operations and performance at the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Her previous government service includes six years of service as the deputy chief operating officer for the city of Atlanta.

Finalists will also answer questions submitted by the Mayor’s Policing Policy Commission in a format that can be viewed by the public. They will meet individually with Mayor Cooper and will also meet with Metro Nashville public safety employees and community leaders.

By Charter, Mayor Cooper will select the next chief of police.