File photo by Katie Bailey/Carolina Public Press

Press release from the city of Asheville:

The city of Asheville will conduct a series of public meetings aimed at inviting input from the community on the characteristics it would like to see in a new chief for the Asheville Police Department. Members of the public are invited to attend any of three public meetings held on Tuesday, Feb. 24, and Wednesday, Feb. 25.

The city is working with Affion Public, an independent external recruiting firm, in a national search for qualified candidates for this position. Input from the public will help collect valuable information into the community’s priorities for the recruitment and retention of a new chief.

Meetings will take place Feb. 24 from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center, 285 Livingston St., and Feb. 25, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the fourth floor training room, Municipal Building, 100 Court Plaza. Light refreshments will be provided at each meeting.

A third public input opportunity will take place Wednesday, Feb. 25, during the regular meeting of the Inter-Denominational Ministerial Alliance of Asheville, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Hill Street Baptist Church, 135 Hill St.

Following these meetings, input collected from the public will be compiled and posted to the city of Asheville Projects Page at

Steve Belcher has been serving as the Asheville Police Department’s interim chief since Jan. 19, and will continue to serve in that capacity until the city and Affion Public have completed the national search for a permanent police chief. The target date to have a new police chief in place is June 1, 2015.

Updates on the selection process as well as opportunities to provide feedback online will also be made available at the city’s Projects Page.

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Angie Newsome was the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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