As reported by, Trenton officials are interviewing 18 candidates for the position of police director and 17 candidates for the job of fire director.

Acting Police Director Ernest Parrey, Jr. was brought in to interview for the position he has held since July.  Parrey said he knew when he took the job in an acting capacity that he would have to reapply for the position. “I thought it went OK,” said Parrey of the interview.  “Now at least they will get the candidates in and they can compare where I stand.” Parrey said some officers expressed concern about the requirement that he re-interview for the job, but he tried to put them at ease.  “Like I told everyone else-this is the process,” he said.

Qareeb Bashir was appointed Fire Director in 2011 under former Mayor Tony Mack despite criticism from Councilman George Muschal, who still holds a spot on the council.  When Mayor Eric Jackson came into office in July, he reverted Bashir back to an acting director and said he would evaluate all candidates for the position.

Trenton spokesman Michael Walker said the administration hopes to complete the evaluations and bring a candidate for each position to the City Council for final approval in about 45 days.  The city advertised the positions this summer, shortly after Mayor Jackson took office.  Jackson had previously said he hoped to bring candidates for police and fire director to the Council by January.  Walker said there were many other resumes submitted, but the personnel office narrowed the group to 18 police director and 17 fire director candidates deemed qualified.

The leadership committee-made up of Business Administrator Terry McEwen, Chief of Staff Francis Blanco, and Law Director David Minchello-will be interviewing the candidates.  The committee will recommend two candidates for each position to Jackson, who will make the final selection that will be put before the Council.