Diverse focus group formed to help pick Westminster chief


Westminster's mayor announced yesterday the formation of a focus group designed to bring diverse viewpoints to the process of choosing the city's next police chief.

John Lewis, the president of the Carroll County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was among those chosen for the nine-member community focus group, Mayor Kevin E. Dayhoff announced. According to the announcement, other members of the group are Jean Lewis, Charles Harrison, Kevin Bell, the Rev. David Highfield, JoAnn Hare, Virginia Harrison, Darcel Harris and Liv Myers.

The group will meet with potential candidates for police chief.

Dayhoff received criticism from Westminster residents last month for his appointment of an all-white, mostly male search committee responsible for selecting a replacement for police Chief Roger G. Joneckis, who retired at the end of July after 29 years on the force. Dayhoff then held a community forum to hear from residents. About a half-dozen residents picketed to protest the makeup of the search committee.

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