Interim Police Chief Eliot Isaac is the “preferred candidate” for Cincinnati’s next police chief, City Manager Harry Black announced Friday morning.
In fact, Black said, he is the only candidate for the job.
The 26-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department has been serving as interim chief since Sept. 9, when Black fired Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.
“He understands public safety; he understands how to improve morale; and he has already taken steps on that,’’ Black said.
But Black, in a City Hall press conference, said there is one more round of scrutiny before the appointment can become official.
Isaac will undergo what Black called “a vigorous vetting process” that will begin with Isaac meeting with city council’s Law and Public Safety Committee at noon Monday. That will be a public meeting.
That will be followed, Black said, by a series of “private interactive sessions with panels representing Cincinnati’s various constituencies.”
In those meetings, Isaac will discuss the operations of the police department with the Cincinnati Police Department staff, a group of community residents, the local clergy, members of the business community, and with the Sentinels, the organization representing African-American police officers.
Black said he will receive feedback from all those groups and hopes to have the process done by Christmas.
The city manager made it clear – Isaac is “the preferred candidate” and, at this point, there are no others.
Black said he did not feel the need to do a nationwide search for a police chief when there was a well-qualified candidate within the department. He said he had “conversations with people around the country in my network,” but never seriously considered anyone but Isaac.
“If I felt we had a leadership deficit in the department, I would not have hesitated to look outside the city,’’ Black said.
Isaac said he is “extremely humbled and excited about the opportunity to be considered as chief of police.”
“It is imperative that the Cincinnati Police Department remain a progressive agency,’’ Isaac said. “We will continue to further strengthen our community relationships.”
Isaac was executive assistant police chief prior to his appointment as interim chief in September.
Prior to that, he served as a police captain. From 2012 until his appointment in 2015, he directed the Criminal Investigations Section.
From 2007 to 2012, Isaac was the commander of District Four in the central city.