City initiates search for new police chief, appoints acting chief in interim

City of Reading officials gathered at City Hall Wednesday morning to announce the commencement of the search for a new Police Chief. Mayor Eddie Morán expressed the gravity of the occasion, emphasizing the importance of selecting the most qualified individual to lead the Police Department into the future.

Morán stated, “We will be looking at both internal and external candidates to find the person who best meets the needs of our community and who we feel will be the best fit to lead our Police Department into the future.”

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To cast a wide net, the city has reached out to various esteemed organizations, including the Pennsylvania Chief of Police Association, the International Association of Police Chiefs, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association. These outreach efforts aim to attract top-notch candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Mayor Morán appoints Deputy Chief Javier Ruiz as interim chief of the Reading Police Department.

The search process will be overseen by the Human Resource Department, in collaboration with the Managing Director. It will involve several steps, including resume screening, multiple rounds of interviews, and even opportunities for community members to interact with the final candidates.

Morán emphasized, “I will select the candidate who, after this rigorous process, will be the best, most qualified individual to serve the needs of our community. The chosen candidate will undergo City Council ratification before any employment offer is extended.”

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In an interim move, Deputy Chief Javier Ruiz has been appointed as the acting police chief. Morán stated, “As a second-in-command to the Police Department, he is the logical choice to assume this command.” This decision was made after careful consideration, as Deputy Chief Ruiz brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role.

The transition period is estimated to last between 4 to 6 months, ensuring that due diligence is exercised in selecting the new Police Chief. During this time, Morán says the community can rest assured that the Police Department will continue to operate at a high level, providing essential services.

Morán expressed confidence in the entire command staff and the police force, asserting, “I am pretty confident that we have the best men and women in our Police Department in the whole county.” He also commended the leadership team for their unwavering dedication to the city.

Acting Police Chief Javier Ruiz echoed the commitment to maintaining public safety during this transition, saying, “We have a good team of captains, and we will work together to move the Police Department in the right direction while the search continues.”

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