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Finalists Selected For Top Police Job

By Matthew M. Hoffman

Cambridge has whittled its list of candidates for the newly created job of police commissioner down to a group of nine finalists, about half of whom are members of minority groups, according to sources in the search process.

The final group is also split between Boston-area residents and outsiders, according to Guggenheim Professor Criminal Justice Mark H. Moore, one of 10 advisors to the search process who reviewed the applicants' resumes.

Moore said that he did not think any women were now being considered for the job. "My recollection is that there is not a woman on the list," he said.

The final pool will come to Cambridge for interviews by the 10-member advisory committee on the weekend of February 3 and 4, Moore said, According to Michael Gardner, the city's personnel director, City Manager Robert W. Healy will likely make a decision on the new commissioner shortly thereafter.

"I would expect the manager is going to make a decision sometime in February." Gardner said.

Unlike the current police chief, Anthony G. Paolillo, who is retiring this spring, the police commissioner will be a civilian appointed from outside the department. The city decided to hire its first-ever commissioner last year, when several city councilors criticized the the department's current leadership structure.

Current police chiefs are chosen from within the department on the basis of civil service exams, and several councillors argued that the process is not geared toward finding administrators who are strong and experienced. An outside leader, they argued, would be in a better position to manage the department and to respond to the needs of city residents.

The position was created in the mid-1970s, but the council only alloted money for it last spring. City Councillor Kenneth E. Reeves '72 said that Healy will decide whether to hire another police chief in addition to the commissioner.

"Many people feel it is redundant to have two persons of significant salary at the helm of the police department," said Reeves, who was one of the strongest backers of the new position on the council.

Jeffrey C, Wu contributed to the reporting of this story.

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