FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) – Delrish Moss is the first permanent African-American police chief in Ferguson.
He was close to retiring from the Miami police force where his specialty was communication with the community and the media.
Fox 2's Rafer Weigel sat down with the new chief one-on-one and asked why would he take such a daunting job?
"It`s very personal in that I understand that the people of Ferguson are suffering some of the same ills that we suffered in Miami'
"There`s a community that`s been through a lot they obviously there were some divides long before the Michael Brown incident so that`s why you have a powder keg erupt. And so, I come in from another city. I'm a new guy. I've got to build bridges. I have to build trust. And I've got to help them build that divide that obviously longstanding in segments of the community. But with persistence with my perspective me telling my story and showing my sincerity I think we can make it happen."
What's his reaction when a Presidential candidate who could be in the white house views this as one of the most dangerous places in the world?
"When a presidential candidate does that I can tell you from my experience in Ferguson that's a person who's never been to Ferguson. And so he's just shooting from the hip and it was irresponsible. I think that what he should do is he should come here and actually see Ferguson. See the challenges, see the people and see the sense of community that exists here. Because until he's been here he doesn't know. What do you see in this community? I see a lot of hope here. I see a lot of people who really really want to see Ferguson succeed."
To do that, Moss hopes to sooth racial tensions between Africa-Americans and police which for him is also deeply personal.
"I think you solve that by getting out there doing the job and continually talking to people. When we`re shouting at each other, when we're talking about each other we're not getting anything accomplished. But when we talk to each other when people actually sit and talk to a Delrish Moss they get to know me they get to me they get to know my heart. They get to my passion and they get to find out we`re a lot more alike than we are different."