The City of Jacksonville has named Joe Williams as its newest police chief, concluding a lengthy selection process in which more than 20 candidates were originally considered. Williams is a Marine Corps veteran with 27 years of law enforcement experience, including more than seven years of combined service as a police chief.
Williams’ resumé includes achieving “Recognized Police Agency” status for three departments, management of up-to 240 employees, and administration of budgets up-to $30-million as police chief of Celina, Texas, McKinney, Texas and most recently Rusk, Texas. The Rusk Police Department recently hosted an inaugural Citizen’s Police Academy and, earned a 14th national ranking by the National Association of Town Watch under his leadership.
“I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to serve within the Jacksonville Police Department,” Williams said. “I am committed to providing professional police services for our citizens in the furtherance of the city council’s goal to improve the qualities of life for all. I’m appreciative of the confidence the city manager has in my abilities to lead the agency.”
Williams served in the United States Marine Corps 1984 to 1992, and was honorably discharged as an electronics technician sergeant. His law enforcement service began with the Yuma County, Arizona Sheriff’s Department from 1990 to 1994; and, continued with the Frisco, Texas Police Department from 1994 to 2007, where he rose from patrol officer to captain, commander of the Operations Bureau. He was police chief with the Celina, Texas Police Department from November 2007 to June 2011; and, Deputy City Manager of McKinney, Texas from June 2011 to October 2012, prior to serving as police chief with the McKinney Police Department from October 2012 to June 2014. Williams then worked in the private-sector as a general manager at Tenant Tracker from August 2014 to April 2016; and, as vice president with JD Gray Group from April 2016 to January 2017. Since January 2017, Williams has served as police chief in Rusk, Texas.
Williams is president of the East Texas Police Chief’s Association; and, program manager and Best Practices Assessor for the Texas Police Chief’s Association Best Practices Recognition Program. He has held a Master Peace Office certification since 2003. He is a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) Certified Instructor and Firearms Instructor and, also a member of International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Texas Police Chiefs Association (TPCA), FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA), and Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). He earned a MS Criminal Justice Leadership and Management from Sam Houston State University, and a BA Criminal Justice from Midwestern State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Leadership Command College of LEMIT, and the School of Police Supervision’s Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.
The hiring process included initial community panel interviews with a board of community leaders, extensive on-site background checks, second panel interviews with regional city managers and police chiefs, and a meet-and-greet with the city council and JPD officers.
“I am confident that Joe Williams is a wonderful match for the City of Jacksonville,” said Jacksonville City Manager Greg Smith. “His deep understanding of the mechanics of police management and community engagement, coupled with his proven leadership, will be important assets for our city for years to come. We are confident that Joe’s experience and dedication to the profession of law enforcement will immensely benefit the Jacksonville Police Department and the City of Jacksonville as a whole.”
Williams is scheduled to start with the Jacksonville Police Department Feb. 7.