Interim Roswell Police Chief Dennis Kintigh, right, greets Al Solis who was announced Wednesday as the new chief during a press conference held at the Roswell Police Department. Solis will officially assume duties on January 14. (Mark Wilson Photo)
County law enforcement personnel and local officials gave warm welcome to city staf fâ€™s announcement Wednesday naming Al Solis Roswellâ€™s newest top police commander. City Manager Larry Fry announced his decision at the Roswell Police Department to hire Solis as the departmentâ€™s incoming chief. Solis is currently the administrator of the Chaves County Detention Center, following decades of service in the U.S. Marshals Office.
He will be officially sworn in on Jan. 14. â€œAs always, when thereâ€™s a change of command … or when thereâ€™s a new boss thereâ€™s always apprehension,â€ said Solis, addressing members of the RPD. â€œGive me a chance and I hope in time I will earn your respect.â€ The incoming chief also made a commitment to residents to crack down on crime and focus attention on property offenses and drug addiction.
â€œKeep in mind that no matter what people say this is a safe city,â€ he said. â€œBut, I promise you that I will work harder to make it a safer city.â€ Fryâ€™s decision comes after more than a month of searching for the new commander needed to replace Interim Chief Dennis Kintigh, who took the role on a temporary basis. â€œThis has been … a challenging process because there were a number of very worthy candidates,â€ said Fry, who made finding a new chief one of his top priorities since being appointed city manager in October.
â€œIâ€™m very confident in that the decision that he has made is the best decision,â€ said Mayor Del Jurney. â€œ(Itâ€™s) another really positive day for the city of Roswell.â€ Among other candidates who applied for the position was the departmentâ€™s second in command, Deputy Chief Jody Scifres. He was the only current RPD officer to apply for the position. â€œJody is 110 percent police officer … (and) he is a huge part of this department,â€ Kintigh said.
â€œI canâ€™t say enough good things about Jody Scifres and he and Al Solis are going to be an incredible team for this city and this department.â€