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A veteran police officer with decades of experience has been named the new police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, ABC News reports.

Delrish Moss, a 32-year veteran of the Miami Police Department, was announced as the choice on Thursday (Mar. 31) out of 54 applicants. Moss, who is Black, will have authority over a majority of police officers who are White and manage a town where two-thirds of the residents are African-American.

The department changes come after the Justice Department’s investigation into the city following the shooting death of Black teen Michael Brown by White police officer Darren Wilson. An investigation launched into the Ferguson police found racial bias in order to raise profits for the city. Police Chief Tom Jackson resigned just days after the report was released to the public.

Via ABC News:

“This has been a long and strenuous process, but we believe Major Moss is the right choice,” Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said in a statement. “We understand the past 18 months have not been easy for everyone, but the City is now moving forward and we are excited to have Major Moss lead our police department.”

Moss’ first agenda includes hiring women and more people of color:

“The police department should be much more reflective of the community it serves. … I certainly plan to hire more people of color, more women,” Moss said. “I’d like to hire people from Ferguson who are actually committed to what happens there.

The 51-year-old started his career in law enforcement back in 1984. As a teenager, he witnessed the infamous Miami riots and was also targeted by police when he was just 14 years old. After he was pushed and shoved by the officers, Moss says he took the experience as inspiration for his future job in law enforcement.

He also worked in the homicide unit before his 20-year position as head of the media and community relations department. Moss is President of the Miami Police Athletic League, and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the NAACP and Tender Essence Inc., an organization focused on inner-city youth.

His glowing record has placed a new light on Ferguson. Currently, the new city manager and municipal judge are Black men. Moss is hoping to meet Brown’s family when he starts the position in May.



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