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Moab Police Chief Jared Garcia announced this week that he will leave the Moab Police Department effective September 22, 2023, to accept the position of executive deputy director of the Utah Department of Corrections.
Since May of 2022, Garcia has worked to reorganize and grow the Moab Police Department with the goal of improving officer morale and training and building strong relationships within the community.
During that time, his dedication and commitment to the department, the community and the city have resulted in the development of an excellent community-based police force that every Moab resident can be proud of,” said Moab Mayor Joette Langianese. “Jared has been a great asset to the city and the community.”
“He has accomplished his promise to get the city police department back on solid footing and we appreciate that,” Langianese said. “We wish he were staying but we understand that this is an excellent opportunity for Chief Garcia and his family.”
Moab City Manager Carly Castle praised Garcia’s strong leadership and tireless efforts to recruit, hire and train new officers and develop a fully staffed department.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have someone of his experience,” Castle said. “He’s worked hard to retool the police department and develop a responsive, professional administrative staff and police force. He will be missed.”
Garcia said the decision to leave Moab has been difficult and he is grateful to the community for so warmly welcoming him and his family.
"It has been an absolute honor to serve as the Chief of Police in this amazing community. My family and I will forever cherish the experience of living in Moab, and all of the relationships we have built,” Garcia said.
“I would like to thank Carly Castle, Mayor Joette Langianese, and the City Council for giving me the opportunity to serve here,” he added. “I couldn't have asked for a more supportive group of city leaders.”
He also thanked the Moab Police Department’s officers and administrative staff for their commitment and support.
“I am extremely proud of the progress we have made within the Moab Police Department since my arrival. We have undoubtedly established a professional culture and formed a team of committed people who understand the tremendous responsibility of providing public safety in our city,” Garcia said. “I am also proud of the strategic plan we have established and believe the entire team will continue their commitment to keeping people safe.”
Assistant Police Chief Alexander Bell has been tapped to take over as police chief when Garcia departs.
“Assistant Chief Bell has worked in law enforcement for more than two decades. He knows our department and its officers and is extremely well-qualified. He is an excellent choice to lead the department forward,” Langianese said.
Castle echoed the mayor’s sentiment, saying, “I’m thrilled that Alexander Bell has agreed to be the next police chief. I have total confidence in his ability to continue the positive changes in the police department moving forward.”
Bell said he is grateful for the support he has received from city leadership.
"I am humbled by this opportunity to continue serving the community of Moab as the Chief of Police. I look forward to continuing to build the professional culture established during Chief Jared Garcia's tenure,” Bell said. “I am committed to accomplishing the goals and standards set forth in the Strategic Plan for the Moab Police Department and will build on the successes we've enjoyed during this past year and a half. I am excited by the commitment to excellence shared by all our officers and their desire to serve and protect this community.”
“We will continue to train diligently to ensure that all of our officers have the knowledge and experience to face the many challenges of law enforcement service. As the Chief, I will strive to continue building the wonderful relationships we enjoy with our community partners, businesses, schools, and the community.”
Bell thanked Castle, Langianese, and the Moab City Council for the opportunity to serve as chief.
“Never have I felt more supported by a group of city leaders than here in Moab,” he said, adding, “I would like to thank Chief Jared Garcia for his outstanding leadership, his drive to accomplish difficult and challenging goals, his mentorship and example of professionalism to all of us here in Moab. I wish him the best in all of his future endeavors and thank him for the outstanding job he did in moving the Moab Police Department forward so quickly."