City of Yakima
Subject: Police Chief Finalists Process
Contact: Interim City Manager Michael Morales – 575-6040
Community Relations Manager Randy Beehler – 901-1142
Release Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Police Chief Finalists Announced
A group of 6 finalists competing to become the next Yakima police chief will undergo a
comprehensive evaluation and interview process Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
The finalist group includes 2 current Yakima Police Department (“YPD”) employees and 4
candidates from across the country. The finalists are:
- Dave Frazer, who most recently served as police chief in McFarland, California
- Dale Miller, the current police chief in Ellensburg
- Dominic Rizzi, Jr., a watch commander in the 9th Police District in Chicago, Illinois
- David Giles, who retired in 2011 as the resident agent in charge of the Des Moines, Iowa
Drug Enforcement Administration office
- Mike Merryman, a lieutenant with the YPD currently serving as Criminal Investigations
Division manager, public information officer, and Gang Free Initiative director
- Nolan Wentz, a lieutenant with the YPD currently supervising patrol teams and specialty
On Thursday evening, the finalists will attend a reception hosted by senior City staff and
members of City volunteer boards, committees, and commissions. Opportunities for media to
interview the finalists will be provided during the reception, which will begin at 6:00 pm at the
Yakima Convention Center.
On Friday, each of the candidates will do “ride-a-longs” with YPD patrol officers, both during the
day shift and the evening shift, in order to get some front line exposure to YPD operations.
Over the weekend, the finalists will go through a 2-day “assessment center” process at Yakima
City Hall, which will be evaluated by a panel including Mayor Micah Cawley, City Council
members Dave Ettl and Bill Lover, YPD Interim Chief Greg Copeland, YPD Sergeant Gary
Jones, Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin, Seattle Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz, and Madera,
California Police Chief Michael Kime.
On Saturday, finalists will make formal presentations to the assessment center panel about law
enforcement issues. On Sunday, the finalists will go through a critical incident exercise, which
will allow the panel to measure the ability of each finalist to manage and make decisions under
stress. Both the Saturday presentation and the Sunday exercise will be score by the panel.
Also on Sunday, the finalists will be interviewed by a 3-member community panel consisting of
Dave Fonfara, a retired city manager (Sunnyside, Chelan, Blue Lake, California), Tadeo Saenz-
Thompson, executive director of the Washington State Migrant Council, and Anne Caffery,
president and CEO of the Memorial Foundation. Finally, on Monday, Interim City Manager
Michael Morales will conduct one-on-on interview with the top 2 or 3 finalists following review
and consideration of the assessment panel evaluations. Morales hopes to make a final hiring
decision within the next few weeks.
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