MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis has released the names of those who have been chosen to interview for the Memphis Police Department director position.
The city said interviews will be conducted in the next couple of weeks by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Once the mayor makes his pick, that individual will then go before the city council for approval.
Current Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings is set to retire in April.
The seven finalists are a mix of men and women, including three in-house candidates who have spent more than 25 years with the department. There are also four outside candidates with law enforcement experience in cities like Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Texas and Tucson, Arizona.
Mike Williams is a former president of the Memphis Police Association. He’s confident all of the candidates are qualified but believes it would be much harder for an outsider to do the job.
“Memphis is a little bit different. You can’t bring a staff in here with you,” Williams said, “So, that means you’re going to have a director who’s going to come in here by himself but the police culture is a little different. You have to have the backing and the following of the rank and file.”
Josh Spickler is a criminal justice system reform advocate with a group called Just City. He’s also confident the candidates are qualified but says he’s skeptical of the hiring process partly because Mayor Strickland’s interviews won’t be recorded or made public.
“If Mayor Strickland wanted to win over the community… then he would open up this process instead of farming it out to the International Association of Police Chiefs and then keeping everything that’s done here in Memphis internal and out of public view,” Spickler said.
The list of candidates is below.
Chief Joel Fitzgerald has served as Chief of Police in Missouri City, Texas; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Fort Worth, Texas and Waterloo, Iowa. He also spent time with the Philadelphia Police Department.
Deputy Chief Sharonda Hampton has served 34 years with the Memphis Police Department. She has served in patrol, investigative and administrative roles. She is currently the Deputy Chief of Administrative Services.
Deputy Chief Samuel Hines has been employed by the Memphis Police Department for nearly 30 years. He has experience with the Organized Crime Unit, Memphis Police Academy, TACT Unit and Dignitary Protection Team. He is currently the Deputy Chief of Uniform Patrol District One.
Anne Kirkpatrick is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI’s National Executive Institute. She also has more than 38 years of policing experience and has been the Chief of Police at four different agencies.
Deputy Chief Michael Shearin has served the Memphis community as a police officer for more than 25 years. He’s had roles in the Organized Crime Unit, Robbery Bureau, General Investigative Bureau and police academy. He currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Investigative Services.
Deputy Commissioner Joseph Sullivan is a 38-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department. He also served on the Pennsylvania Police Training and Education Commission. He became deputy commissioner in 2017.
Chief Perry Tarrant has 34 years of law enforcement experience and was a captain with the Tucson Police Department. He also served as the assistant police chief in Seattle. He has also served as the national president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.