ALTON - New Alton Police Chief Jarrett Ford has worked his way to the top of the department with 18 years of dedication and service to the department.
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Jarrett was born and raised in Alton by his mom and graduated from Alton High School in 2000. He also graduated from McKendree College (now McKendree University) in Lebanon, IL., in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in economics and finance. He also later obtained an associate's degree in law enforcement from Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey.
The Alton man was hired at age 22 in January 2005 by the Alton Police Department.
"My first three years I spent as a patrol officer and then received the opportunity to work in the Criminal Investigations Division as a Detective working all felony cases," he said. "After working five years as a Detective, I was promoted to Sergeant where I briefly returned to the Patrol Division as a supervisor before returning back to detectives as the Detective Sergeant supervisor.
"In 2017, I was promoted to Lieutenant and remained in detectives as the Chief of Detectives. In 2018, I became the Support Services Commander, which works hand in hand with the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police, and Captain. I was then fortunate enough to be appointed as the Deputy Chief of Police, a role I have served in since last night’s appointment to the position of Chief."
Jarrett remains an Alton resident. He said he was so thankful his son was able to present him his Chief's badge last week during the appointment at the Alton City Council meeting.
"In my off time, I enjoy working out and spending time with my son, and attending his sporting events," he said.
"I’m very honored and thankful to be appointed Chief of Police by Mayor David Goins and the City Council members. To serve in this capacity in the very city in which I grew up and still reside makes it even more special.
"I will miss Chief (Marcos) Pulido very much but I know we have assembled the very best team moving forward. (Pulido retired to take a position as chief deputy of the Madison County Sheriff's Office). The men and women of the Alton Police Department are the best of the best and I am proud to serve with them."
The new chief has set some goals for the future: "In the short term, we are focusing on getting our body camera program in place to increase our accountability, transparency, and efforts to build the best criminal cases possible. We are also focusing on procedural changes that will be brought forth come January 1 as a result of the bail reform measures in the Safe-T Act.
"Long term, we are going to continue to focus on effective recruitment and retention to help attract the best employees possible. We will also build upon our efforts towards employee wellness, ensure we have the necessary equipment to perform effectively, continue to update our policies and procedures so that we are always implementing best practices, continue to focus on training, and continue our efforts in securing grant funding for various community safety measures."
Jarrett closed with this statement: "We will also focus on maintaining and growing our relationships with the community, area businesses, and schools, as well as community stakeholders. Without these relationships, we know we cannot succeed at the highest level.
"Working together with the community ultimately leads to all of us being safer."
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