Broken Arrow Closer To Choosing Police Chief

Tuesday, September 26th 2017, 10:42 pm

The two remaining candidates to be the next police chief of Broken Arrow met with community leaders Tuesday evening.

The last chief retired just a month ago, but with plenty of notice so his replacement could get on the job quickly.

In a crowd of police officers, chamber of commerce and school leaders, the candidates were shaking a lot of hands.

But it's City Manager Michael Spurgeon who will make the decision.

"And I think we have two great candidates who can help us lead our very important police department into the future," Spurgeon said.

The finalists came out of 35 applicants, narrowed down to Florida Sheriff's Commander Greg Purden and Broken Arrow's Deputy Chief Brandon Berryhill.

Berryhill now serves as acting chief, after 23 years with the department.

 He's been the deputy chief for six years.

He said he's eager to tackle technology issues and equipment issues for the department.

"Other places do not have the support we have here. The citizens here vote on our bonds and come out to support us and I think the police support them. It's a unique situation here," Berryhill said.

Finalist Greg Purden is the Commander for Operations at the Brevard County, Florida Sheriff's Office.

He's been an officer for 32 years.

"To see what challenges they might be facing. I want to make sure they're keeping up with technology. I think it's very important to have excellent partnerships in the community," Purden said. "That's what I like to do where I'm from in Florida. I think it's important because when you have those partnerships you're more accessible to the community."

The department has 150 officers and Spurgeon said the decision won't be easy.

"I want someone who has the earnest desire to be a part of the Broken Arrow community," Spurgeon said.

The city manager said he hopes to announce a decision next week.


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