Ferguson police chief stepping down; city seeking replacement

FERGUSON, Mo. -  The police chief in Ferguson is resigning after almost two and a half years on the job.  Delrish Moss was hired as Ferguson was still struggling to deal with the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting.

Moss was sworn in back in May of 2016. Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says Moss is going to return to Florida to care for his ailing mother. Moss came to Ferguson from Miami where he had been a homicide detective and a spokesperson for the Miami Police Department.

He took over in Ferguson after two interim chiefs had left the department following the resignation of Tom Jackson. Jackson was the Ferguson police chief when Michael Brown was shot and killed by then Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Investigations concluded that Wilson did not violate Brown's civil rights and a grand jury declined to indict Wilson on criminal charges. But a Justice Department report strongly criticized the practices of the Ferguson Police Department and Municipal Court pointing to concerns over racial bias.

Moss spent much of his tenure in Ferguson implementing reforms including some mandated by that justice department report.

Mayor Knowles tells our Post Dispatch partners that he has been appreciative of Moss` efforts and that Moss learned to embrace the community even though it was not very welcoming when he arrived.

Knowles says he hopes more local candidates will apply for the job now that Ferguson is not such a hotbed for protests.

A timeline for naming a new chief is still unclear.

“I have enjoyed my time here in the city of ferguson and i leave with nothing but gratitude and respect for the citizens of this city who welcomed me and share their vision and hopes for the direction of this great community.  Unfortunately the time has come for me to return to florida to attend to more pressing family obligations. I believe that Ferguson is on the right track for the future, and I’d like to think that I have in a small way shared in helping to shape that bright future,” said moss.