New Jackson chief takes office, shares goals for police force

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — A mid-Michigan community has finally named a new police chief four months after the previous chief retired.

6 News sat down with Jackson’s new top cop and talked about his plans for the future.

He might be wearing a shiny new badge but Jackson’s new police chief is a familiar face in the city.

“I got hired by the Jackson City Police Department as a cadet in January of 1996,” said Chief of Jackson Police and Fire Services Elmer Hitt.

Since then the native of Jackson County has been climbing the ranks of the police department and was just named chief.

“I am excited to really begin now and get us going in a good direction,” Chief Hitt said.

Now that he’s Jackson’s top cop, Chief Hitt says there’s some changes he’d like to bring to the department.

Chief Hitt says a top priority is reducing violent crime, especially after a high number of shootings last year.

“And do what we can as an agency working with the community and other community organizations to reduce the amount of violent crime we are experiencing in the community,” Chief Hitt said.

Chief Hitt says many improvements can’t happen until he gets a new command staff together and realigns officers.

Over the last decade, the department has cut nearly 20 positions.

“Resource deployment, I think we need to take a critical look at that and make some changes to how our officers are assigned to different areas of the city,” Chief Hitt said.

Taking on this new role was a tough decision that the father of three says he made with his family in mind.

But the chief says he accepted the position because he believes in Jackson.

“It’s a safe place. We can make it safer. I think overall the city is going in a good direction. I am really excited about the future and to be here for the citizens and make it a better place,” Chief Hitt said.

Former Police Chief Matt Heins served as chief for nearly 10 years and retired in January.

He is now the security director at Henry Ford Allegiance Health.

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