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Elrich formally nominates Marcus Jones to serve as Montgomery’s police chief

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Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has formally nominated acting police chief Marcus Jones to serve as the county’s police chief in what has been an unusually protracted search for the jurisdiction’s top officer.

Elrich (D), who said last month that he planned to tap Jones for the role, sent the nomination to County Council President Nancy Navarro (D-District 4) on Monday, a council spokeswoman said.

This comes nearly 10 months after former chief J. Thomas Manger officially announced his retirement.

For months leading up to this nomination, Elrich was vocal about his desire to hire an outside candidate to lead Montgomery’s police department, which has been plagued in recent months by incidents of alleged misconduct.

He said as recently as Aug. 27 that he would not consider Jones for the role of permanent chief, but he changed his position after his top three candidates dropped out of the running over a period of two months. Several Montgomery lawmakers have criticized Elrich, saying he mishandled the nomination process.

Before Jones, Elrich considered Takoma Park Police Chief Antonio DeVaul, former Portsmouth, Va., police chief Tonya Chapman and former Montgomery police official Darryl McSwain, who now leads the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County division.

Jones, a longtime Montgomery police officer, was the early choice of the department’s rank-and-file. He will need to undergo a public interview session and be confirmed by the county’s all-Democratic council before formally assuming the role.

Several council members, including Tom Hucker (District 5), Will Jawando (At Large) and Hans Riemer (At Large), have said they are likely to approve his nomination.

“Barring some information that would somehow be problematic, which I don’t really anticipate, he will have my support,” Riemer said last month, when Elrich first announced plans to nominate Jones.

Council members said that at the public hearing, they plan to raise recent alleged police misconduct, including one officer who was charged with assault and another caught on video using a racial slur.

“We have questions for the chief on how he would want to do things differently, but I’m quite confident we’re going to move forward together,” Hucker said.

The public interview of Jones is scheduled for Nov. 5 at the county council building in Rockville. The council will vote shortly after the interview.

Dan Morse contributed to this report.

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