After a nationwide search that began in July, the new chief of Capitol Police could be named in a matter of weeks.
In a statement provided to Roll Call, the Capitol Police Board, chaired by House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and comprised of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer and Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, suggested that an announcement is imminent.
“The search ... is nearing completion,” the statement said. “A very strong group of internal and external candidates have been interviewed multiple times. All interviews have been completed, and the USCP Board is currently reviewing and vetting the top candidates under consideration.
“Due to the unpredictable time-frame of the final vetting process, no precise date can be provided for an announcement,” the statement continued. “However, the Board does foresee an announcement in the near future.”
On Wednesday, Gainer said he expected an announcement to be made either before the Nov. 6 elections or “right around that time,” meaning the search has stayed on the schedule stakeholders anticipated from the beginning.
The Capitol Police Board, which traditionally manages Capitol Police chief searches, hired the Police Executive Research Forum on July 11 to assist with recruitment of candidates and advise the board during the selection process. The terms of its contract specified that PERF would have to wrap things up within 120 days tops, or just after Election Day.
It’s not clear how many candidates applied, how many were brought in for first-and second-round interviews and in what proportion the board considered internal and external applicants.
Gainer, who served as Capitol Police chief earlier in his career, would only say that “there is a great group of candidates, internally and externally ... a good group of men and women and any one of them would do a fine job.”
Former Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse stepped down in June after more than five years in the post. Tom Reynolds, who previously served as second-in-command, has been leading the department in an acting capacity since Morse’s resignation. Sources say he is up for consideration to take on the job permanently.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.