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Columbus police chief candidates discuss plans, visions for the community

Get to know some of the finalists for the next Columbus police chief.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The city announced on Monday that the search for the next chief for the Columbus Division of Police is down to four candidates.

Two of those finalists are Ivonne Roman and Elaine Bryant.

Roman retired as Police Chief in Newark, New Jersey and worked as a member of the squad assigned to completing investigations as a part of the federal consent decree.

She said the record-setting homicide trends in Columbus are deeply concerning.

“I think it points to the issues of trust. If people don't trust the police, they are not going to call the police. They are going to resolve matters in their own hands, which can turn deadly," Roman said. "We want the community to trust that when they call us we are going to respond and that we are going to address the issue."

Bryant, a deputy police chief in Detroit, has visited Columbus. One of her two sons goes to college in Ohio. She said she has looked at the issues in Columbus between the police and the community.

"Being from Detroit and having a lot of similar issues and backgrounds, I knew this was an opportunity to go in and be a change agent,” she said.

She said the city needs to repair the disconnect in the community.

“I do have absolute strategic plans to address some of the issues and concerns that I noticed. I have a background in homicide as well as major crimes. I think it is very integral to make sure that when you are doing those types of investigations that there are certain key things that you have to focus on,” Bryant said.

Derrick Diggs, who currently serves as chief of police for the Fort Myers Police Department, is another finalist, as well as Avery Moore, the current assistant chief of police for the Dallas Police Department. 

The four are vying to replace Thomas Quinlan who served as chief from February 2019 until January of this year when he was asked to step down by Mayor Andrew Ginther. 

Deputy Chief Mike Woods has served as interim police chief since. Though he retired in May, Woods has agreed to stay on until a new chief is determined. 

RELATED: City narrows list to 4 finalists in search for next Columbus police chief


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