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Somerville Selects Firm to Lead Search for Police Department Chief

GovHR Will Lead Nationwide Search to Identify Candidates Who Align With City’s Community-Driven Approach to Public Safety

The City has selected GovHR to lead the search for a new Somerville Chief of Police. GovHR, a national public-sector executive recruitment firm, will conduct a rigorous recruitment process over the next several months to identify candidates with the requisite experience and principles to lead the Somerville Police Department (SPD).  

Somerville Chief of Police David Fallon retired from the Somerville Police force in December 2020 after 21 years of service. Chief Charles Femino accepted the role of Acting Chief at that time taking on pandemic public safety emergency response duties as well as the ongoing work of the department. He will continue serving as Acting Chief until a new chief is appointed. 

“Selecting the right candidate to lead Somerville’s Police Department is an immense responsibility, and one that demands a thoughtful and intentional recruitment,” said Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. “Our search must result in a pool of candidates who are both professionally qualified and ready to join our efforts to pursue a community-driven approach to public safety for all. GovHR exceeded the strict criteria we set to find the right recruitment partner, and I look forward to working with them.”

The City’s review of proposals from external recruiters was led by an Evaluation Committee and the Police Chief Search Committee consisting of City Councilors, constituents, and City staff. The process involved a rigorous review of qualifications, plan of services, references, past performance, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion recruitment experience. GovHR was selected as the best firm to recruit Police Chief candidates on behalf of the City. The firm has over 30 years of experience recruiting for leadership positions in the public-sector and shares Somerville’s commitment to equity, diversity, and accessibility. GovHR has successfully recruited for almost 80 Chief of Police roles in 14 states.  

"Central to this search is securing candidates who understand the importance of the work we are doing to ensure equity and public safety for all," said Department of Racial and Social Justice Director Denise Molina Capers. "We are excited to have GovHR on board and are deeply committed to continuing a process that is reflective of and prioritizes our shared community values."

Over the coming months, GovHR will conduct a comprehensive, nationwide search that will progress in six phases, beginning with information gathering, progressing through public engagement, and culminating in candidate approval by Somerville’s City Council and final appointment by Mayor Ballantyne.

Stakeholders from the City will be deeply engaged with every phase of the search to ensure the recruitment is identifying the best candidates for Somerville’s unique needs as a municipality and community. More updates will be shared about engagement opportunities and the hiring process as next steps are pursued.

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