This week the prince George's County Council rejected County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan's nominee for chief of police by a vote of 8 to 3. The nomination of James R. Taylor, now police chief in Petersburg, Va., and formerly chief in Newburgh, N.Y., was opposed by a coalition of groups, including county police officers and black leaders, who argued that he did not have enough management experience or racial sensitivity to run the Prince George's department. Staff writer Michael Eastman and staff photographer Craig Herndon asked shoppers at Landover Mall what they thought of the council action. Samuel Weaks: I agree 100 percent with the County Council that if we are going to get somebody, it ought to be somebody with everybody's best interests at heart. I don't think Taylor fit that description. His record with blacks wasn't too good. Paul Baird: I don't believe they should have picked anyone from outside the county anyway. Taylor would have had to learn the territory all over again. The county needs someone who really knows Prince George's County. Goldie Marquis: It wouldn't have worked out anyway. The people on the inside would have resented bringing in somebody from the outside. Hogan's man would have had a rough time trying to earn their respect. We'll probably end up with somebody from the inside. Jerry Jackson: The NAACP said that he wasn't sensitive to the black community. I think they were right. He Wasn't ready for minorities and we weren't ready for him. Why put the man in office if he can't help the cause? Kathy Hattendorf: I think it was kind of closed-minded. He was qualified. Prince George's County had a chance at real leadership, and the council screwed up that opportunity. For the time being the county will have to suffer the consequences. Milton Early: It was a pretty wise decision. The chief of the police department has to understand the full complexity of the county and the department. This man had been managing a little 90-man police department. That doesn't even begin to compare with what he would have had to deal with here. Darlene Savoy: I approve of what the council did. If the man couldn't maintain good race relations, he shouldn't have been nominated. I don't know what the council was looking for, but this wasn't the right man. Arthur Lake: Frankly, I would rather have seen them get a man from inside the police department. We've got a lot of qualified people in the police department already. Why should we go poking around somewhere else for a chief when we have the people here?