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Acting Montgomery Co. Police Chief Tapped to Take on Permanent Role

The acting police chief in Montgomery County is the intended pick to become the permanent chief.

Marcus Jones, who has been acting chief since June, will be County Executive Marc B. Elrich’s pick to lead the department, the county said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Elrich said in the statement that he had spoken with residents and leaders from all over the community, and said, “They don’t want the status quo. They want to see changes that will make a good department even better and rebuild trust that has been shaken by some recent interactions between officers and members of the public.”

Though “it was important to look outside the department for new leadership,” Elrich said that after speaking with Jones and laying out his expectations, “I am confident that he shares my vision and will carry out the changes I want to see.”

“Throughout this process, the County Executive has made it very clear that he wants to see a change in the culture of this department,” Jones said in the statement. “I am committed to fulfilling his vision and will work diligently to strengthen the relationship between the Montgomery County Police Department and all the communities we serve and protect.”

Jones became the interim chief after Chief Tom Manger retired in April, and Assistant Chief Russ Hamill, the first interim chief, left to become the police chief in Lanham. Jones took over just as a controversy began over a police officer’s use of a racial slur while on a call, and while repercussions continued from the shooting of Robert White, an unarmed man, by a county police officer who was cleared of wrongdoing.

Two top candidates — Tonya Chapman, the former police chief of Portsmouth, Va.; and Takoma Park Police Chief Antonio DeVaul — removed their names from consideration over the summer.

Elrich will send Jones’ name to the Montgomery County Council for approval. Jones would become the county’s 17th police chief and the third African-American to hold the post.

In a statement, County Council President Nancy Navarro (D) hailed the selection, and noted that Jones “knows Montgomery County inside and out.”

“I believe that Jones will be a transformational leader that the men and women of the police department and all community members can put their trust in to provide outstanding public safety services, while cultivating a better understanding of the needs of our diverse community through community policing practices,” she said.

Before becoming acting chief, Jones was the assistant chief of the Investigative Services Bureau, the county’s statement said; he also served as the commander of the 3rd District, was director of major crimes and a drug-enforcement commander.

Jones also created an award-winning diversity training program, the statement said.

Maryland Matters’ Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.

As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Rick Massimo. Click here for the WTOP News website.

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Acting Montgomery Co. Police Chief Tapped to Take on Permanent Role