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Suffolk police commissioner search yields more than 100 resumes

Suffolk County has received resumes from more than 100 candidates for the job of commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department, the 11th largest department in the nation.

A seven-member committee has begun the process of winnowing down the unexpectedly large number of contenders for the $171,000-a-year job overseeing a department with a $521 million budget and 3,400 employees.

County Executive Steve Bellone’s chief deputy Dennis Cohen, chief of staff Lisa Black and deputy county executive Jon Kaiman are heading the committee.

“There’s an impressive array of people. We’re pretty confident we will find someone from this group,” said Kaiman.

About 50 of the resumes fit county criteria calling for candidates possessing “ a high level of leadership, analytic and communication ability while demonstrating the highest level of integrity, vision and skill.”

More than half the resumes appear to have been generated from recruiting firms looking to place clients, Kaiman said.

Kaiman said the panel hopes to winnow the number of candidates to 25 within the next few weeks, and then discuss with Bellone how many to bring in for personal interviews.

Bellone also plans to meet with various groups in the county with an interest in police issues to determine what kind of qualities are important to them in a new commissioner.

The committee would not disclose the identities of any candidates, nor break down of how many come from within the department or from Long Island or New York State.

Officials did say they received candidates from Maryland, Illinois, Florida and New Jersey.

Acting Police Commissioner John Barry has said he is not interested in the top job and will join Suffolk District Attorney Tim Sini as his top investigator once a new police commissioner is selected.

Kaiman said the administration hopes to select a new commissioner next month.

Sini, a former Bellone aide, left the commissioner’s post Jan. 1 to take office as county district attorney.

He replaced 16-year incumbent Thomas Spota, who stepped down last month after he and his top corruption prosecutor, Christopher McPartland, were indicted on federal charges that they were involved in a cover-up of former Suffolk Police Chief James Burke’s assault of a suspect in 2012. They have pleaded not guilty.

Legis. Tom Cimi (R-Bay Shore), GOP caucus leader, said “we need to find the absolute best candidate with impeccable credentials and a history of successful leadership of a police department . . . “

County lawmakers must confirm Bellone’s choice by majority vote.

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