Written By: Matthew Fuller, Golden Eagle Media
Members of the community got the opportunity Monday night to meet Jacksonville’s new police chief. The crowd of supporters gathered at the city’s public safety complex to welcome Marcus Wood as the top law enforcement officer in the city of Jacksonville.
After being introduced by Mayor Johnny Smith, Chief Wood stepped up to the podium and was then officially sworn in by Jacksonville City Court Judge, Jennifer Weems. Afterwards he wanted to share some of his own words with the crowd. He thanked the community of Jacksonville, his family, and the police department for helping him achieve this title. Chief Wood then stepped down and greeted all of the people who attended the ceremony.
When asked about the police department’s role when it comes to school safety and the School Resource Officer Program, Chief Wood said, ‘’We will try to continue and encourage their role in the school system but I do have plans on being more involved with them so we will try to implement those things as time goes along’’.
Another topic that surfaced was whether Chief Wood envisioned any type of new explorer program for the youth of Jacksonville. Chief Wood said, ‘’I do think those are very valuable, there are some other police departments in the county that offer programs such as Junior Law Enforcement Academy during the summer, so we do hope to partner with them and start doing those. Hopefully, down the road, we can launch a full explorers program with a citizens academy.’’
When asked about the future of active shooter drills at Jacksonville High School, the chief said, “Yes, we have got several of our staff members who are ALICE trained along with others in the school system, so yes, we do plan on continuing those drills and we are going to do those as needed as the school system will allow us to.”
Chief Wood came to the Jacksonville Police Department to replace Chief Tommy Thompson, who retired after three decades on the job. Before he took the job at Jacksonville, Wood served as a captain at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office.