Selma City Council hosts reception to introduce leading candidates for top cop job

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Candidates for Selma's police chief job are Kenneth Harden, Stephanie Stewart and Lt. Kenta Fulford.

The Selma City Council has narrowed the field of candidates for Selma Police Chief down to three and the council hosted a reception Tuesday night to give the public a chance to meet the three hoping to be Selma’s next top cop.

The three candidates are:

Kenneth Harden – former sheriff of Butler County and currently working part time with the Dallas County Sheriff’s department as an investigator.

Dr. Stephanie Stewart – currently working with the Bureau of Pardons and Parole. She is no stranger to Selma, she lived here and worked for the police department in the past.

Lt. Kenta Fulford – born and raised in Selma and currently on the Selma Police force.

Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson was at the reception and said he is highly impressed with the three candidates. He said all three are highly qualified and any would do a good job. Jackson explained there is a concerted effort to “get all these gang members and gun slingers off the street, so we need a viable police department with lots of good leadership.” Jackson said his office works closely with the police, and he would be happy working with any of the candidates.

Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum shared praise for all three candidates. He said he knows all three and worked with Dr. Stewart when she worked for the Selma Police Department. Granthum said the Council has a hard job in front of them because all three candidates are so highly qualified.

“It’s good to be in a position when you have three well-qualified candidates,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation for Selma. There were others that were also highly qualified, but they had to narrow it down to three. Whoever they pick, the Sheriff’s department will work with them and help make Selma a better place to live.”

Council President Corey Bowie reiterated the importance of choosing the best candidate to be Selma’s new chief because of all of the challenges facing the city and the department.

“It is important that the council engage the community in the selection of the next Police Chief,” Bowie said. “The SPD is embedded with an array of problems. This selection is pivotal for the council to select the best applicant for the job. We have three finalists to select from with impeccable backgrounds in law enforcement. The council’s main objective is to select the best applicant to lead the department and serve the community.”

Bowie said the council will vote on the candidates and choose the new chief during the Dec. 17 council meeting. “The new chief will be in place by the first of the year,” he added.