Hail to the chief!: After a long search, the City names Al Jones to head the Arlington Police Department

Texas Appliance April 2020

City Manager Trey Yelverton last month appointed Col. Al Jones, a 25-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department, as the City of Arlington’s new police chief. Jones, who comes to North Texas after serving as the chief of Baltimore County Police Department’s Community Relations Bureau, was selected through a robust, community-based process that began in June.

Seventy-four law enforcement leaders from across the nation applied to lead Arlington’s nearly 900-member police force. Yelverton says Jones was an ideal choice because of his years of experience in implementing strong, community-based policing principles, his understanding of the future of policing, and his capability to lead our officers and community of nearly 400,000 residents in that direction.

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“We have a great police department, and we have identified a leader who can continue ensuring excellent service to our residents and move our city positively forward,” Yelverton says. “In the true spirit of community policing, I know that our whole community will come together and support Chief Jones and our police department in keeping our community safe.”

Jones began his law enforcement career in 1995 as a Baltimore County Police Department police officer and steadily rose through the ranks of the 18th largest law enforcement agency in the nation. Since 2018, Jones has overseen management of the Community Relations Bureau, focused on building trust within communities throughout the county while diversifying the agency to better mirror the communities it serves. Baltimore County covers a geographically diverse area of 612 square miles outside of the City of Baltimore, and includes urban, suburban and rural areas. Baltimore County, CALEA accredited since 1985, has long been recognized as a progressive agency in the development of community-based policing.

Jones says he is greatly looking forward to getting to know residents and officers personally, adding that he appreciates the community’s participation in the robust selection process. In addition to taking a data-driven approach to respond to and find efficient, effective solutions for the city’s needs, Jones says he believes building relationships between police officers and neighborhoods, businesses and other stakeholders is critical to creating a place where people want to live, work, learn and play.

“Officers can’t be everywhere, which is why it is vitally important for the community to be engaged and help serve as our eyes and ears,” he says. “Neighborhood involvement with the police department creates not only a safer community, but a stronger community.”

Arlington will host a public event to welcome Jones when he begins as the new police chief on Jan. 11. Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye will continue to serve as the department’s interim police chief until then.

Yelverton thanked the community, city employees and other stakeholders for participating in the selection process and providing valuable input and perspective on the city’s needs related to police leadership. He also thanked The Bowman Group, a local Arlington consulting firm with a specialty in police and public practices, which helped recruit and vet the applicants.

Donna J. Smiedt