City manager: Police chief search will be delayed

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

City Manager Doug Redmond said the search process for a new police chief won’t begin for another two to three months because he wants to give the department time to recuperate from the recent changes.
“We’d like to continue the healing process over things in the past,” Redmond said, citing past turmoil at the department.

Redmond, in his second month on the job, said his goal is to rebuild and grow the understaffed department.

Current chief Doug Jones submitted an official resignation letter Thursday morning, according to Redmond.

Jones told Redmond he was resigning during a Wednesday meeting to discuss issues within the department and issues with Jones. Redmond did not elaborate on the issues other than saying they discussed “a couple of things that happened” and the vision that Redmond has for the department. Redmond said Jones was not asked to resign.

“My ultimate goal is to give the citizens of Portales the best department,” Redmond said.

Jones’ resignation letter stated his last day would be Saturday.

Jones declined comment on the matter Thursday and is referring all department-related calls to Lt. Pat Gallegos, according to a police department clerk.

Redmond said he will make an official announcement today about Jones’ replacement, adding that it will be one of the department’s lieutenants who will serve as interim chief.

Jones has been with the department since November, when he replaced longtime chief Jeff Gill. Jones’ annual salary is just under $63,000.

Prior to coming to Portales, Jones had almost 27 years of law enforcement experience as a special agent with the FBI and as a director of training with the U.S. Virgin Islands Police De partment, according to his resume.

Jones was living in Florida at the time he was hired.

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