Portland is asking for public feedback about the search for its next police chief, a position the city hopes to start advertising for early next year.

The city and the consultant it hired to help with the search, GovHR USA, have launched a survey asking for help identifying the qualities and characteristics people want to see in the next chief.

Feedback is also being gathered from city employees. GovHR will use the information to create a job ad and brochure, according to the city’s director of human resources. The city hopes to have the position ready to post in late January or early February, said Human Resources Director Anne Torregrossa.

The position has been vacant for over a year, after former Chief Frank Clark left in November 2021 for a job in the private sector. Assistant Chief F. Heath Gorham has since been serving as interim chief.

The job is among a handful of top city administrative jobs that are currently open, including the city manager, director of housing and economic development, and public works director.

The City Council started work on hiring a city manager after that process was stalled by a charter commission proposal, Question 2, which sought to increase the mayor’s powers and decrease the authority of the city manager. Question 2 failed in a citywide vote in November.


Interim City Manager Danielle West said earlier this month that the city is also working on hiring a director of housing and economic development after Question 2 also delayed that process.

Clark was hired in 2019 at a salary of $129,636 and before that spent 33 years in the public sector, also working as a lieutenant for the South Portland Police Department and as a narcotics officer and detective with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

A spokesperson for the police department said Thursday that Gorham was out of the office and unavailable to comment on whether he is interested in the job permanently. Gorham has previously said he will wait until the job is posted and then make his intentions known, said Maj. Robert Martin in an email.

The survey is available on the city’s website and will remain open through 5 p.m. on Jan. 5.

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