Reno Police Chief Stepping Down

Reno Police Department
By  | 

Reno Police Chief Jerry Hoover said on Monday he's stepping down after seven years as Reno's top law enforcement officer to take a consulting position with an international firm.

"I've been here seven years plus three years in St. Joseph (Missouri)," he said. "The average police chief lasts 30 months. I've lasted 120 months."

Deputy Chief Jim Weston, who headed the department before Hoover's appointment, will become interim chief until a successor to Hoover is found. That's expected to take four to six months, according to City Manager Charles McNeely.

Weston, who has been with the department for 31 years, said he, too plans to retire shortly after a new chief in named.

"I'll be very proud to end up my career as interim chief," he said.

Asked if he had any thoughts of returning to the job permanently, he quickly replied, "No, I do not."

Hoover, a 36-year veteran of law enforcement, was named chief in July 1997. He said he will retire as soon as the end of this month to work with an international company involved in management audits and police training.

He didn't name the firm at Monday's news conference in front of Reno City Hall, saying he'll wait for the company to make the announcement.

Weston was named chief in June 1995 but announced he was leaving the post in September 1996 after negotiations with McNeely failed to meet Weston's job security and financial requirements.

McNeely announced Hoover's retirement on Monday and welcomed Weston as the chief's interim successor.

"Jim has done this before," McNeely said simply.

Hoover, who worked in Boulder, Colo., and San Diego before becoming chief in St. Joseph, said one of his proudest accomplishments has been the development of the Reno model training program for police officers, which he said is the first innovation in police training nationwide since 1968.

He said the low point had been the loss of two officers - John Bohach during a standoff with a barricaded man and motorcycle officer Mike Scofield, who was killed when a driver pulled in front of him as he responded to a traffic accident.

Councilwoman Toni Harsh recalled being with Hoover the day Bohach was killed, then being asked if she was uneasy being surrounded by guns.

Looking at Hoover, she said, "I always felt safe with you as chief of police."