Col. Al Jones, 25-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department has been hired as the new police chief of Arlington and will begin his new job in January. He competed with more than 70 others for the position.
Arlington's city manager stated that he hired Jones because of his experience with community-based policing and his ability to lead.
Jones joined as an officer and rose through the ranks. He's in a leadership role now, serving as the chief of the Community Relations Bureau.
Jones’ working policy is to work alongside the community. He said, “I think that is a more solid approach than just trying to do it ourselves as the police as we've always done in the past.”
About 830,000 people live in Baltimore County, which encompasses the city of Baltimore. Arlington has nearly 400,000 residents.
Arlington has a diverse population. Jones says the department should as much as possible mirror that. He said, “We actually have to make sure that we're recruiting a more diverse workforce so that we have officers that can relate to those different communities and different demographics throughout the city.”
Jones is well-aware of the Arlington officer’s involvement in shootings in recent years and the lack of trust some might have in the department. He said, “You can't have a real trusting relationship if you don’t have open and honest dialog.”
Jones said, “To make sure we've completed a thorough investigation, interviewed all witnesses, allowing them to review recordings, all of those things I think is important.”
“But I just don’t think that giving them subpoena power is something that I feel comfortable with right off the bat.”