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City Taps Firm To Find San Diego’s Next Police Chief

Community members participate in a public forum on the city of San Diego's se...

Photo by Tarryn Mento

Above: Community members participate in a public forum on the city of San Diego's search for a new police chief, Oct. 4, 2017.

Bob Murray & Associates will assist the city of San Diego in its search to replace Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.

The recruitment firm Bob Murray & Associates will help select the next leader of the San Diego Police Department, a city spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Senior Public Information Officer Perette Godwin said the group has assisted in 140 police chief searches across the country. The company will provide more information on the recruitment process in two to three weeks, but interested parties may create an online profile now, according to its website.

The city is currently soliciting public input on the qualities and priorities of a new top cop and will share that information with Bob Murray & Associates. The firm will use that to "develop selection criteria, interview materials and candidate qualifications," Godwin previously told KPBS.

Several community groups have been critical of the city’s process to hire a new chief, specifically its intention to use an unidentified panel to interview candidates. The organizations, known collectively as the Coalition on Police Accountability and Transparency, are calling for a 15-person public committee that consists of community members appointed by the city council, commission leaders and youths.

RELATED: City, Community Groups Spar Over Best Way To Find New Police Chief

Representatives from the coalition reiterated their requests at a Wednesday news conference ahead of a public forum on the police chief search in City Heights.

Godwin said the topic of the panel would likely come up in discussions with the recruitment firm. City Spokeswoman Katie Keach has told KPBS the purpose of an initially confidential panel is to limit the risk of lobbying.

Additional forums are scheduled in University City on Oct. 5 and in San Ysidro on Oct. 10. The city is encouraging those who were unable to attend a forum to complete an online survey.

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