City of Moline announces new police chief

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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - UPDATE 7/9 9:03 p.m. Darren Gault has been named as Moline's new Chief of Police. His first day will be July 31, 2019.

The City of Moline has appointed a new police chief. Darren Gault is currently the captain of the East Moline Police Department.

City Administrator Lisa Kotter presented her appointment on Tuesday during a special city council meeting. The council unanimously voted "yes" confirming the City Administrator's appointment.

Gault is currently the captain of the East Moline Police Department, where he has served a number of positions since 1998. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Coe College and a Master's Degree in organizational leadership from St. Ambrose University. He is also a 2017 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Kotter says there were 35 candidates for the position from across the country.

"There were definitely many from the MidWest and some from further away on both coasts. So it was quite a pool of candidates that we had to consider and again we were pleased that we were able to find someone right here in our community," says Kotter.

As the captain at East Moline, Gault was an external candidate and he is also a Moline resident.

"I have the advantage of being an external candidate who is from inside the community. I've lived here (Moline) for 22 years and my kids are in the Moline school system," says Gault.

From 2002 to 2005, Gault was a member of the QC Federal Gang Task Force.

"The other advantage that I have is that I have a great law enforcement support system from both knowing, at least on the surface, the Moline Police Department but also there were other police chiefs here today to support me as well as of course my department to lean on to make these tough decisions that we have to make in law enforcement," says Gault.

And that's also how he hopes to tackle crime in the community. Gault says "we're going to look at different approaches and coordinate with the other police chiefs to try to tackle these different issues we're all facing together."

The city will plan a welcoming event for Gault in early August, where members of the public will be able to meet him.

The city also thanked RT Finney who has been Moline's interim police chief since late 2018.

UPDATE 7/9 6:03 p.m. Darren Gault has been named as the new Moline Chief of Police.

City administrator Lisa Kotter announced Tuesday that City Council has confirmed her recommendation to appoint Gault.

He is currently the captain of the East Moline Police Department, where he has served in a number of positions since 1998. Some of those positions include Lieutenant, Detective Sergeant and Patrol Officer. From 2002 to 2005, Gault was a member of the QC Federal Gang Task Force.

He received his bachelor's degree from Coe College and his master's degree in organizational leadership from St. Ambrose University. He is a 2017 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Gault has been a Moline resident since 1997.

His start date in Moline will be July 31, 2019. The city will plan a welcoming event for Gault in early August, where members of the public will be able to drop by to meet him.

“Chief Gault has a good understanding of law enforcement in Moline and our community. He has forward thinking ideas that, along with our team, will create a strong future not only for the employees of the Police
Department but for the citizens, schools, businesses and the entire community," Kotter said.

ORIGINAL: The city of Moline could soon have a new police chief.

According to a news release from the city administrator, Lisa Kotter, the new chief will be presented to city council Tuesday at 6:00 pm.

Kotter’s appointment will need to be approved by city council. Following councils approval or denial, a press conference will be held and the appointee will address the media. The final candidates name has not be released.

The new chief will replace former chief John Hitchcock.

Hitchcock retired after his arrest on September 7th, 2018. Hitchcock was pulled over by an Iowa trooper on Highway 61 in Scott County. According to the incident report, Hitchcock was driving 90 mph in a 65 mph zone. His Blood alcohol level also appeared to be more than twice the legal limit in a breath test.

On May 8, 2019 Kotter chose to redirect the search for the Chief of Police that began in Fall 2018. At that time Moline mayor Stephanie Acri said the decision was made to ensure that the best candidates would have an opportunity to be considered for the position.

TV6 will have complete coverage of the new chiefs announcement on Tuesday.