Local watchdog organizations questions the selection process for - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local watchdog organizations questions the selection process for next CPD chief

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A local watchdog organization is questioning the selection process for Chattanooga's next top cop. 

Last month a search committee appointed by Mayor Andy Berke chose three finalists from a pool of nearly 50 candidates.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Finalists selected for Chattanooga Chief of Police

Members of Concerned Citizens for Justice (CCJ) say they're concerned about how deep the committee looked into the backgrounds of the three finalists; Acting Chief David Roddy, Assistant Chief Edwin McPherson, and Commander Todd Chamberlain of the Los Angeles Police Department. 

Before being named finalists for police chief, former U.S. Attorney and committee member, Bill Killian says the three were interviewed extensively. He says acting Roddy, McPherson and Chamberlain were all upfront about their backgrounds.

"We didn't find any problems with any of the three finalist in terms of violating police policy or the laws, internal affairs, regulations or anything," said Killian. 

But members of CCJ question the thoroughness of that process, saying whats found in a Google search about the candidates cant be ignored.

"CCJ members and a lot of community folk think none of the candidates necessarily are stand up candidates or ideal candidates," said Aysha Pryor. 

"The issues that we found with the particular candidates made us feel that it was time to renew the call for community control...We think that that means it's an independent civilian oversight that has subpoena power, investigation power, and a disciplinary power," said Jared Story. 

In a civil lawsuit filed in 2011, Chamberlain was accused of not putting a stop to racist behavior toward an officer at LAPD. The city was forced to pay more than a million dollars in damages.

Channel 3 archives show McPherson was investigated for perjury in 2012 after he allegedly lied on the witness stand about evidence in a murder case that involved his niece. He was not charged or disciplined by the department.

CCJ members also say Roddy has been a very vocal advocate for militarization of the police in terms of pushing for the purchase of assault weapons and body armor. 

"Those are allegations just like allegations made in any other form of the candidates. None of the candidates were found to have violated policy or been found guilty of any allegations " said Killian. "A court order or a court judgment or whatever; that would be something to be concerned about." 

Killian says the three are good options to lead Chattanooga's police force.

CCJ members say they just want all the facts out in the open.

"Regardless of who gets elected the chips will fall where they may, but the key will be accountability," said Pryor. 

We did reach out to all three finalists. Roddy and McPherson did not wish to comment and Chamberlain has not yet responded. We also emailed Mayor Berke and called the city's spokesperson for comment, but have not heard back. 

The mayor will conduct final interviews with all three men and make his decision on who will be the next police chief. 

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