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Input period continues for next Roanoke police chief, preferences of public become clearer

Residents have until Friday at 5 p.m. to complete the online survey

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke leaders are getting a clearer picture of what people want in their next police chief.

Residents still have time to complete an online survey to give feedback to the city. More than 500 people had submitted them as of Monday, city manager Bob Cowell told 10 News Tuesday.

Cowell has met in person with around 30 people in the community as another way to seek input. He said Tuesday that the ideal candidate in the minds of Roanokers is becoming clearer.

He said the Star City seems to want someone who has the proper credentials, has experience, understands the best policing practices and who is active in neighborhoods throughout the city.

“They want to see a chief that’s very engaged in the community -- in a meaningful way,” Cowell said. “What I’ve heard a lot of folks say is more than responding to invitations, but proactively seeking out those opportunities.”

Cowell also said that people are not interested in whether the next chief comes from inside or outside the department or their race or gender.

Current Police Chief Tim Jones is retiring effective Feb. 1.

The survey is on the city’s website. Residents have until Friday at 5 p.m. to complete it.

Next week, the city will select which firm will be involved in the search.