Paul Vallas On Merit Promotion

In regards to the questions on my position related to Merit Promotions please consider the following.


The high percentages of merit promotions in the contract are a BIG morale killer as these promotions are for the most part devoid of real substantive criteria and are perceived as being largely political. There is no specific criteria for selection other than having passed the multiple choice “basic job knowledge” section (Part 1) of any promotional exam.

As Mayor, I will immediately instruct the Superintendent to limit merit promotions to no more than 20% of all open positions while exploring a further reduction with the union leadership. Drivers for exempt members, secretaries and non-field personnel would not be eligible to receive a merit nomination. Additionally, civilian exempt members would not be allowed a merit nomination selection.

Individuals selected for a merit promotion should come from the field. This means recruiting Officers from the field ranks of distinguished sworn personnel. This will be much like the military granting a Battlefield Officers Commission.

A Possible Model

What follows are my “initial thoughts” on what a superior Merit Promotion Policy might comprise. This would be a possible “starting point” for discussing criteria for Merit Promotions.

  • Patrol District Commanders, Detective Division Commanders, Bureau of Organized Crime Commanders would be eligible to nominate candidates for Merit Promotions as would Deputy Chiefs of Patrol, the Detective Division and Bureau of Organized Crime.
  • Nominations would only be made by the field Commanders and Deputy Chiefs. The Commanders could nominate a maximum two candidates and the Deputy Chiefs could nominate 1 candidate, although additional nominees could come from those Commanders with a larger number of personnel.
  • Civilian Directors and Assistant Directors etc., WOULD NOT be allowed to make nominations. Non field personnel and Police in administrative positions, WOULD NOT be eligible for Merit promotions. Merit Promotions should be for Police WORKING THE STREET, PERIOD!
  • The Merit Review Board would be comprised of the Chiefs from the three Bureau’s Patrol, Detective and Organized Crime Division. The Chairman of the Board would be the 1st Deputy Supt. The Superintendent would make the final decision on who will receive Merit Promotions.
  • Anyone serving on the Merit Review Board, as well as the Superintendent, would be ineligible from making nominations.