MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Acting Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones is the department’s new permanent chief. The decision was made in Tuesday’s Montgomery County Council meeting where council unanimously approved the officer’s confirmation.
"It was like a dream come true," Jones said minutes after his confirmation.
Jones has been with the department for 34 years and worked his way through the department’s ranks, most recently serving as acting chief after Chief Tom Manger retired in April.
Jones was officially nominated for the position in October after other candidates pulled their name out of the running.
"This has been an incredibly long road but as I noted a little earlier, it’s not how we start it’s how we finish," Jones said.
Before Jones’ confirmation, council members interviewed the officer about the state of the department and the direction he would take it. During that time Jones talked about what he calls a recruiting crisis, turnover, and issues with the department.
He said within the first 30 days he has to make promotions.
"I have to get my senior executive staff in place," Jones said. "I have three open assistant chiefs' positions that need to be filled as well as some senior executives."
The chief also talked about the heightened focus on community policing and how he would like an external audit to be done on the department, the expansion of de-escalation training, the potential of arming more officers with tasers and racial profiling.
"I am personally offended by any law enforcement officer, and particular here in Montgomery county, that would police on a style to racially profile any citizen in this county," Jones said. "I will not tolerate it with my officers. I will take a strong stance to address it and to eliminate it. We will ensure through constant training and re-enforcement that profiling is not acceptable."
Jones has seem some challenges during his time as acting chief. He spoke about that, and also how he would fight through more tough times ahead.
"I know there will be difficult days ahead of us, but to be able to work through that and be a better police department and to be a better police chief will be my goal from this point forward," Jones said.