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One of 6 finalists for police chief drops out of running

Citizen Staff Writer



One of six finalists for Tucson police chief has pulled his name from consideration, a city official said Thursday.

James E. Craig, a Captain III commanding the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest area, withdrew Wednesday after he was named chief of the Portland, Maine, police department, said Armida Saufley, an executive assistant in the city’s Department of Human Resources.

She said the selection process will go ahead with the remaining five candidates.

They include two Tucson police commanders.

The five candidates are:

• Tucson Assistant Chief John Leavitt, in charge of the Administrative Services Bureau.

• Tucson Capt. Brett Klein, head of the West Side patrol division..

• Blake McClelland, assistant chief of police for patrol operations, north division, Phoenix Police Department.

• Joseph Curreri, Captain III, area commanding officer, Foothill Area, Los Angeles Police Department.

• Mark Paresi, retired chief of police for the North Las Vegas Police Department.

One of them could be named the final candidate within a few weeks to a month, said Cindy Bezaury, director of the city’s Department of Human Resources.

The next step for the five is a three-day interview, screening and selection process, Bezaury said earlier. That is set for Feb. 23-25.

On the first day the candidates will go through an oral board designed to determine their leadership abilities and technical skill, Bezaury said.

The second day will be spent at community stakeholder forums and meetings with city employee groups.

The third day will be spent in “meet-and-greet” sessions with the City Council and members of city boards and committees.

The day will end with an interview with City Manager Mike Hein and Assistant City Manager Richard Miranda, a former Tucson police chief who retired last summer.

Hein is expected to choose one to three candidates and will present his final choice to the City Council for confirmation.

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