FOREST PARK — The city of Forest Park has announced that Nathaniel Clark is the “sole finalist” for the position of police chief.
According to a press release from the city, “After a competitive nationwide search which was managed by the Mercer Group, the city of Forest Park is proud to announce Nathaniel Clark as the sole finalist to be its police chief. Under the city’s charter, the police chief is nominated by the city manager and confirmed by the City Council. The police chief is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Police Department and the management and direction of its employees.”
The release continues: “I am pleased that the city manager will be nominating Nathaniel Clark as our next police chief,” said Forest Park Mayor Angelyne Butler. “I believe Mr. Clark’s conceptual framework on community policing will resonate with the community as a collective unit and will port well into our city. Welcome to Forest Park.”
Although no information was given about Forest Park residents’ response to the news, the press release did state that “The city has already received very positive feedback about his nomination,” and quotes two officials from Fort Smith, Ark., where Clark resigned earlier today as police chief.
When asked to comment on Clark’s pending appointment, Councilwoman Latresa Akins said she was “not in favor. Not when we have someone at home that was overqualified for the position. Someone whose roots are here in Forest Park.”
Akins also said, “The entire process wasn’t done right if you ask me. The employees weren’t considered and neither were the citizens. We work for the citizens. They elect us. How can we make a decision that is going to affect them and not let them voice their opinions, at least?”
She continued, “I don’t like secrets. I like to be transparent and this entire process was a secret. This is something the people should have a say or at least an opinion in and they weren’t given that option.”
More to come on this breaking story.