- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2019

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced Monday that he plans to nominate acting police Chief Marcus Jones to the permanent position, ending a five-monthlong search for a replacement.

Chief Jones, who has been acting chief since June, is Mr. Elrich’s third choice for the job.

Community leaders and residents “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,” Mr. Elrich, a Democrat, said Monday in a statement. “I felt that it was important to look outside the department for new leadership. However, Marcus and I have discussed my expectations and I am confident that he shares my vision and will carry out the changes I want to see.”

Chief Jones has served the on Montgomery County Police Department for 34 years. If approved by the county council, he will be the county’s 17th police chief and third black officer to hold the position.

“Throughout this process, the County Executive has made it very clear that he wants to see a change in the culture of this department,” Chief Jones said in a 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.”

County council President Nancy Navarro said she looks forward to receiving the executive’s official nomination and lawmakers will exercise due diligence in reviewing it.

“In my opinion, Jones has always been a strong contender for this post and has comported himself with professionalism throughout the selection process,” the District 4 Democrat said. “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.”

Mr. Elrich first nominated Tonya Chapman, a former chief from Portsmouth, Virginia, who withdrew her name from consideration amid concerns about her resignation from her position in Portsmouth.

The county executive then nominated Darryl McSwain, who was chief of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police. He withdrew his name, citing the interests of his family.

The permanent position has been vacant since April, when Tom Manger retired after having served 15 years as the chief

• Sophie Kaplan can be reached at skaplan@washingtontimes.com.

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