Search narrows for next Montgomery Co. police chief search

After reports indicated Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich had narrowed the search for the next police chief to two candidates, his spokesman Barry Hudson said no final decisions have been made.

Hudson declined to explain further. One of the candidates no longer in the running for the job, Montgomery County Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones, said Friday he was disappointed to learn he’s not a finalist.

Jones had at least one vocal supporter on the county council.

Councilmember Craig Rice said that he is very disappointed Jones wasn’t named as a finalist.

“He’s developed a great rapport not only with the community itself, but with all of the county government,” Rice said.

Noting Jones’ long tenure on the county police force, Rice said, “He would create a seamless transition in us moving forward to the next model of policing for Montgomery County.”

Once a finalist is selected, the council gets a chance to confirm that candidate. Rice said it’s not unprecedented for the council to decline to confirm a candidate for a county position.

“We’ve done that before,” said Rice. “We’ll certainly exercise our right to do the same if we find that it’s necessary.”

Rice, who previously served as the chair of the council’s public safety committee, said choosing the right person to fill the job of police chief is critical given two recent incidents that called police conduct into question, including one in which an officer was charged with second-degree assault during an arrest.

“This is a very tumultuous time for us to be taking chances with who the next leader of our police force will be,” Rice said.

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