A Miami police major running the department’s public information office has been tapped to lead the embattled Ferguson, Mo., police department, city officials said Thursday.
Delrish L. Moss, 51, was among six finalists chosen to interview for the job, and city manager De’Carlon Seewood said he “exemplifies the type of experience in law enforcement that we believe will enhance the many new programs within the Ferguson Police Department.”
He comes at a tumultuous time. The city of Ferguson recently inked an agreement with the Justice Department to resolve claims that officers routinely violated the rights of black citizens and will now have to implement a host of reforms. The city’s former police chief, Thomas Jackson, resigned last year in response to the federal findings.
“We understand the past 18 months have not been easy for everyone, but the City is now moving forward and we are excited to have Major Moss lead our police department,” Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said in a statement.
According a release from the city, Moss has worked for 32 years in Miami, working stints in patrol and homicide. He was most recently running the department’s public information office, which interfaces with reporters, often on controversial incidents.
Ferguson’s department has 72 employees, including 54 commissioned officers, according to information on the city website. Moss’s first task, it would seem, would be implementing the reforms required by the Justice Department — including new training for officers and implementing policies to ensure that the police department’s “stop, search and arrest” practices do not discriminate on the basis of race.
Moss could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday night. In a recent interview with the Miami Herald, Moss, who is black, said he believed Ferguson needed “a massive recruiting drive to become more reflective of the community.”