STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Stockton’s police chief of nearly a decade is retiring at the end of the year, the city announced Tuesday.
Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones has worked in law enforcement for nearly 30 years and started as an officer at the Stockton Police Department in 1993.
“I am extremely thankful to have led such a great organization and working for our community,” Chief Jones wrote in his retirement notice. “The men and women of the Stockton Police Department continue to give selfless dedication every day for the safety of our citizens and the community partnerships we have formed and the trust-building work we have done has helped move our City forward.”
In 2012, he became chief of police and later that year formed the Stockton Police Department Community Advisory Board, which is now comprised of 24 board members.
Just last year, Chief Jones started working with City Manager Harry Black on the City Manager’s Review Board. In his 2020 plan for the city and its police force, Jones said his main focus was on reducing violent crime through community engagement.
“We still need to reduce crime, reduce blight, improve trust in our community and hire a very diverse and professional workforce,” Jones said at the time.
In July of 2014, the transparency of Jones’ department was tested when three heavily armed bank robbery suspects took 41-year-old Misty Holt-Singh hostage and led officers on a 60-mile pursuit.
A report released by the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation revealed one of the suspects survived in the ensuing gun battle after using Holt-Singh as a human shield. Dozens of officers fired upwards of 600 shots at the suspects’ disabled vehicle, hitting the mother of two 10 times.
“This was the most tragic event that we’d ever seen within the department, within the community, that I can recall within the last over 20 years,” Chief Jones told FOX40 a year later.
Holt-Singh’s family settled a lawsuit against the city of Stockton back in 2018.
Recently, the police department lost one of its officers during a domestic violence call in what Jones called “a violent, blatant and very sudden assault on our police officer.”
Assistant Chief James Chraska will serve as interim chief ahead of a nationwide search for a new chief of police.
The Sacramento Police Department will also be saying goodbye to its police chief at the end of this year. Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn announced his retirement last month.