Longtime Jackson police chief Rick Staples has tendered his retirement effective September 18,
2009. Chief Staples, who has served our city for 34 years with the Jackson Police Department, has accepted a position with a security firm located in Baghdad Iraq. His last day of service to the city will be August 14, 2009.
Chief Staples began his long career with the JPD as a patrolman in 1975, and he served in various capacities until being appointed Chief of Police in 1989. Under his capable leadership, Chief Staples initiated Community Policing, entered into collaborative partnerships with many local community groups, made public housing safer, created the Gang Task force, which cooperates with federal prosecutors in sentencing gang leaders. He also established positive working relationships with law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal levels, instituted a Violent Crime Task Force in cooperation with the FBI and started the first Citizen's Police Academy in the state. After a recent study of the department, compiled by an outside consultant, Chief Staples conducted a complete restructuring of staff and departments.
Mayor Gist stated, "The City of Jackson has been very fortunate to have Rick Staples as our police chief. Rick has a passion for law enforcement. It is highly unusual for a city have the same police chief for such a long period of time - 20 years. I think his long tenure as chief speaks well to his creativity, perseverance and determination to protect our citizens. Sometimes it has not been pleasant to take the criticism that comes with the job, but Rick has been willing to do that."
Mayor Gist also said, "We wish to express our deep appreciation to Rick for his many years of excellent service to the community and we wish him the very best as he begins a new phase in his law enforcement career."
Chief Staples commented, "This has been an exciting carreer. I've made a lot of friends and hopefully made a positive impact on the community."
Applicants for Staples’ position will be reviewed by the Tennessee Municipal Technical Assistance Service and by a committee comprised of local citizens and area-wide law enforcement officials. Viable applications will then be submitted to the Mayor, who will make the final decision.