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Fort Myers police chief among four finalists for post in Columbus

By AP | May 18, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s capital city has narrowed the list of candidates for the job of police chief to four, two men and two women, all of them from outside the agency as promised by the Columbus mayor.

A public forum introducing the finalists is scheduled for Wednesday, with the goal of a selection by month’s end.

Mayor Andrew Ginther, a Democrat, has repeatedly said an outside candidate is needed to enact broad cultural changes within the agency.

The finalists are Elaine Bryant, a deputy Detroit police chief; Derrick Diggs, chief of the Fort Myers Police Department in Florida and a former Toledo police chief; Avery Moore, an assistant Dallas police chief; and Ivonne Roman, former Newark, New Jersey police chief and co-founder of the 30×30 initiative to boost women in policing 30% by 2030.

Ginther and other officials invited the Justice Department last month to review the department of about 1,900 sworn officers for deficiencies and racial disparities in several areas.

The department is under scrutiny amid recent fatal shootings of Black people by white officers, including the April 20 death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered the city to alter the way it responds to mass protests, saying officers ran “amok” during racial injustice and police brutality protests last summer.