Charlotte-Mecklenburg Deputy Chief Harold Medlock is one of two finalists to be the next chief of police for Fayetteville.
Medlock, 55, and a deputy chief from Texas were chosen out of what was once a pool of 100 candidates for the job, Fayetteville officials said.
A search group originally helped to narrow the choices, but Fayetteville City Manager Ted Vorhees will decide whether Medlock or Dallas Deputy Chief Malik Aziz, 44, gets the job.
The city manager said Medlock was selected because of his ability to collaborate across multiple agencies, his solid track record in community engagement and the good reputation of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.
Council members expect Vorhees to make his decision after Christmas but before Jan. 1.
Medlock and Aziz introduced themselves to Fayetteville residents at a Tuesday forum, where they both discussed their job experiences and answered questions from citizens attending the event.
Medlock, a deputy chief at CMPD since 2008, was unavailable for comment Thursday.
His biography on the police department website notes he started his career with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police in 1979 and, after a brief time away, rejoined the department in 1993. Most recently, Medlock oversaw security planning for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Medlock and Aziz were chosen from a group of six semifinalists who had recently gone through an intensive round of interviews, meet-and-greets and role-playing exercises in Fayetteville, Mayor Tony Chavonne said.
At the recent forum, Medlock talked about the time that went into planning for the DNC, Fayetteville council member Keith Bates said.
The Charlotte deputy chief impressed council members as an organized leader who is very competent and capable of providing the services we need for this city, Bates said.
Council member D.J. Haire said Medlock and Aziz performed equally well at the forum, noting that the city manager had a tough choice to make.
While Bates said hed be happy with either candidate, he thought Aziz might fit in better in Fayetteville.
Mr. Aziz kind of struck me as more of a beat cop who worked his way up the ladder, and Medlock was more of an organizational manager, Bates said.
And we have a very competent police force that just needs leadership and not reorganization.
The next police chief would replace Chief Tom Bergamine, who retired but had faced controversy surrounding the number of times that officers stopped and searched black drivers on city roads, officials said.
Its a sensitive time in our city, Haire said.
Weve been through a lot of different atmospheres at the police department.
The Fayetteville Observer contributed.
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