Ezard hopes to name new Police Chief by the end of the month

By Blake Schnitker on March 20 at 7:26am

The Jacksonville Police Department hopes to have a new Chief of Police by the end of March after the retirement of long-time chief Tony Grootens earlier this month.

Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard is in the process of selecting the new Police Chief, and says he plans to announce his decision at the next City Council meeting on March 27. Ezard says the decision of who will replace Grootens is entirely on himself, though he hopes to get approval from City Council members.

In the time being, the responsibilities of the chief are being handled by the department’s Deputy Chiefs Chad Moore and Rodney Cox. Ezard feels assured that operations continue to run smoothly during this transitional period.

The mayor says his goal is for the department to remain on the positive track set by Grootens. Ezard believes that “the face of the city a lot of times, is the police department,” and that it’s important for the rest of the department to buy-in to their new chief.

Ezard said in early March that he had received several applications from outside the department, but he’s decided to choose a candidate already with the local police force.