News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 07/27/2009
Subject :

Three Finalists Named in Palo Alto Police Chief Recruitment
Contact : James Keene, City Manager    650-329-2563
Palo Alto, CA – James Keene, City Manager of Palo Alto, announced that the City has narrowed down its search for a new Police Chief to three finalists: Kenton Rainey, Police Chief of the City of Fairfield until September; Gregory Rothaus, Police Chief of the City of San Carlos; and Dennis Burns, Interim Police Chief of the City of Palo Alto. The finalists were selected after a comprehensive recruitment process with public input, a national search, a review of 48 resumes, and two evaluation panels. The City Manager intends to make his recommendation on the new Chief by the end of August 2009. 

"Palo Alto is a diverse community of very engaged residents, businesses and neighborhood groups that expect a lot from its Police Chief," said Keene. “Our new Police Chief must be an effective member of the City leadership team, a Chief who commands the respect of the department, and a trusted professional capable of building strong relationships across the community.”

In March 2009, the City Manager conducted 10 outreach forums with various groups from the community, the business sector, and City staff, as well as with many individual members of the public. The purpose of the meetings was to involve stakeholders in the important process of identifying key traits desired in the selection of the next Police Chief. 

The City hired Bob Murray & Associates, an executive search firm to lead the recruitment process. After narrowing a field of more than 48 candidates from all over the country, seven individuals were invited for interviews on July 17 with two panels of evaluators. A panel of community members included Daryl Savage, Chair of Human Relations Commission; LaDoris Cordell, former City Council Member and Superior Court Judge; Magan Ray, Employee Benefits Attorney; Vic Ojakian, former Mayor; Robert Weisberg, Stanford Law Professor; and Iris Korol, Management Advisor to nonprofit organizations. Gary Luebbers, City Manager of Sunnyvale, Craig Steckler, Police Chief of Fremont and Lalo Perez, Director of Administrative Services for Palo Alto, served on the executive panel. 

“The evaluation panels have been a tremendous help to us in evaluating the semifinalists,” said Keene. “Each panelist brought a unique perspective to the evaluation process. I am pleased that the panelists reached a consensus recommendation on the three finalists,” added Keene.

The City Manager will be conducting finalist interviews in mid-August. In September, the City Manager will bring the Police Chief appointment to City Council for affirmation, as required by City Charter.