Maplewood Police and Fire

PHOTOS: DeVaul Sworn in as Maplewood’s New Police Chief

Township Clerk Liz Fritzen swears in Jim DeVaul as Maplewood Chief of Police

An emotional Jimmy DeVaul was sworn in as the new Chief of Police for Maplewood on Tuesday night. After being administered the oath of office by longtime friend Township Clerk Liz Fritzen, DeVaul joked, “We had a bet who was going to cry first.”

After DeVaul thanked his family, and the Township Committee “for seeing my passion and vision moving forward,” he thanked many others who had helped him along the way, including:

  • Ret. Sgt. Mike Morrison, who was his “mentor throughout the whole process.”
  • SOMA Action and SOMA Justice: “I’ve been listening to you and I look forward to working together.”
  • The Clergy Alliance, “which has been instrumental in our Chaplains program.”
  • Rev. Brenda Ehlers of Morrow Memorial Methodist Church for her passion in helping to create the juvenile restorative justice initiative. “We’re going to change the way juvenile justice is done in this town, and hopefully we can make it a model for the state,” DeVaul said.
  • Walter Fields of SOMA Black Parents Workshop and T.J. Whitaker of MapSo Freedom School: “I made commitments to them to make changes in the department.”
  • Lt. Kevin Kisch, who also vied for the position. “I wish I had half of his charm, and I hope that working with him he will help me be the best chief I can be.”

“I’m humbled to be standing here right now. I do not take it for granted at all,” DeVaul said, holding back tears. “The officers I work with know how passionate I am and I look forward to moving forward with them. I’ve been very upfront with my officers about the changes I plan… We haven’t had change in 17 years, so that doesn’t come easy — but we’re going to do it together.”

He concluded, “I made a commitment to restore the faith and trust in our police department, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to start by putting the members of our community first.”

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