Reporting David Sutta
MIAMI (CBS4) – It may be the most intense interview process you’ll ever see. A packed room staring and writing down your answers. It’s all part of Miami’s search for a new top cop.
Via Skype Michael Gugliotti, the police chief in Waterbury, Connecticut, answered questions over his 30 minute interview. He only made it through half of the questions provided to him prior to the interview before his time was up.
“Law enforcement to me has never really been just a job. I love it.” Gugliotti told the crowd.
Gugliotti never knew who he was speaking to the entire time because while the packed room saw him, he never saw them. Instead the camera pointed at the cities human resources director who asked all questions.
Many of the candidates like Adam Burden came up from within the city’s police force.
“This is one of the best cities in the world. It’s my home, and I love it. And I want the job,” Burden told the panel.
Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus helped the city narrow down the field of candidates to 10 people.
“Man, you got a tremendous pool of candidates. And regardless of what happened in the past, and I’m certainly not a part of city politics, the city structure,” said Loftus. “But I think it’s very encouraging that you have so many people that have applied for this that are absolute police professionals.”
Miami Police’s search for chief follows plenty of controversy in recent years. From spats with the mayor to several police involved shootings in the African American community. You have to wonder who would want this job?
Loftus explained, “It’s not just the geography. It’s a great opportunity in a major, major police department.”
All was going well during Burden’s interview until the public, invited to attend, decided to speak.
“Whoever set this processes up they suck. It sucks.” Nathaniel Wilcox said to the panel near the end of Burden’s interview. He continued “We’ve been sitting here like mannequins. You ask all the questions. We can’t ask questions. Then what are we here for?” Wilcox along with four others were appointed by city commissioners to interview the candidates. The entire time though they were told to stay quiet. “What exactly is the role to be sitting here except to look like we are part of a process that we really don’t have a part at all?” Nathan Kurland said. Kurland was appointed by Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.
Following the meeting commissioners were surprised by what happened, vowing to change the process.
“Its a very important position. It’s going to impact the lives of every citizen in the city of Miami and it’s important that the community has the opportunity to voice it’s concerns and it’s questions.” Commissioner Francis Suarez said.
Other candidates for consideration are former Miami assistant chiefs Thomas Cannon, Louis Vega, former deputy chief Frank Fernandez, former Sweetwater and North Miami Beach police chief Rafael Hernandez Jr.; former Prince George County, Maryland police chief Roberto Hylton; retired FDLE special agent Amos Rojas, Jr. and former Passaic County, New Jersey sheriff Gerald Speziale, Jr.
The next interview process of the other eight candidates will be next week. It may look a little different than it did Wednesday.