KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Five finalists to be the next police chief of Kansas City, Kan., went before Unified Government of Wyandotte County commissioners Thursday night to explain why they should get the job.
The meet-and-greet happened in front of a few dozen community members.
Three of the candidates currently hold positions in KCK or KCMO police departments. They include Vince Davenport, acting bureau director of criminal investigations for KCK Police Department; Randall Hundley, deputy chief of the KCMO Police Department; and Terry Zeigler, assistant chief of the Bureau of Operations for KCK Police Department.
The remaining two candidates are Mark McCrory, deputy chief of police for the Tulsa Police Department in Tulsa, Okla.; and Richard Zapal, division commander of the Patrol South Division of the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department in Savannah, Ga.
The candidates have been interviewing for the past two days, which involved several real-life scenarios where they had to show city leaders how they would respond to crises. They even had to hold a fake press conference and answer questions from fake reporters in breaking news scenarios.
"I think the police chief is a very high-profile position in any community," said Mike Taylor, public relations director for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. "I think they will be in front of the press, they will be out in the public and so we wanted to put them through those exercises and drills just to see how well they could perform."
Taylor said the exercises tested each candidate's character and demeanor to evaluate how well they perform in high-stress situations.
"I think the process was very challenging," agreed job candidate Zeigler. "It was an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs, stress levels coming up and getting a chance to relax as you went from exercise to exercise, but it's been a grueling two days."
The city hopes to choose its new police chief by the end of the year.