Meet the pair of finalists for Durham's police chief

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Durham residents will have the chance to meet a pair of finalists vying for the job of the Bull City's police chief.

The position is open after Jose Lopez' retirement at the end of last year. Durham Police Department Deputy Chief Larry Smith has been serving as interim police chief.

Both candidates - Atlanta's Deputy Chief Cerylyn Davis and Major Michael Smathers of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department - have executive experience with police departments in cities larger than Durham.

Davis runs the Strategy and Special Projects Division of Atlanta PD, where she's worked for 29 years.

Smathers is in charge of police field services for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. His career there began in 1994.

Durham's city manager says the two finalists demonstrated a commitment to transparency, accountability and positive community relations during the city's background checks of the candidates.

One of them will succeed Lopez - whose management style was criticized by some in the community as well as the Durham Police Department before he retired at the end of last year.

Residents can meet the finalists Wednesday night from 7 - 8 p.m., during a community forum scheduled inside Durham City Hall chambers.

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