JEFFERSON — Jefferson’s new police chief resigned Monday after some residents at last week’s City Council meeting expressed concern over recent social media posts he had made.
Police Chief Jason Carroll quit during a special called Jefferson City Council meeting Monday to address residents’ complaints against his posts.
After several residents and a council member took turns during the public comment portion of the meeting to speak against Carroll’s social media posts, the council went into executive session.
After the meeting resumed, interim Mayor Victor Perot announced Carroll’s decision.
“In speaking with Mr. Carroll during executive session, he has decided to resign, to allow the community to heal,” Perot said.
Carroll did not offer comment after the meeting. The council accepted his resignation without taking action to name a replacement.
In an email to the Marion County Herald, Perot named Jefferson Police Investigator Tino Perez as Carroll’s replacement. Perot originally named Perez as interim police chief then later modified his statement.
“First off, Tino cannot officially be recognized as interim chief until we officially adopt it in open session at the next council meeting,” Perot wrote. “(The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement) would not recognize him until a formal vote is taken. He is in charge of the department as of now and until we meet again.”
The council is next set to meet July 21.
“I’m honored to be trusted with overseeing the department during this time,” Perez said.
Perot said he made Perez’s appointment at the direction of the council.
“Council told me to offer the interim position to him to see if he would accept,” said Perot in an email. “We will adopt a permanent change at the next regular meeting. All I can say is that I was given this direction by each and every councilperson, and it did not happen in open session last night.”
Two council members have confirmed to the Herald they did not know anything about Perez’s interest in the position, and they said they did not speak to Perot about it.
Carroll‘s resignation Monday came just months after he had taken over as chief in March for retired Police Chief Gary Amburn.
The outrage was sparked last week after Carroll shared three Facebook posts that several residents said they found offensive, leading Carroll to apologize and pledge to take sensitivity training.
Carroll later deleted what he called “insensitive” memes and photos on his personal Facebook page and then deleted his entire Facebook account.
In Carroll’s lengthy apology last week, he outlined actions he was taking to remedy the issue.
“First, let me make it clear that I am deeply sorry for my actions and thereafter over the insensitive Facebook post I made. I don’t like myself for acting in such an insensitive manner and in seeing that I was reactive and not being proactive in my community,” he wrote. “I want you all to know that I am listening. Also, I am human, and as human, I make mistakes. But what makes us so great as people and a community is that I, along with you, can learn from my mistakes. And with this mistaken insensitivity, I along with you can change it into a positive learning experience. ... We can agree that, words of apologetic nature mean very little when not followed up with action. Thus, I’d like to share with you that this, while a regrettable mistake, is a lesson we can all learn from and, as such, I am taking action by enrolling in a cultural sensitivity training class. This is needed at this time to reflect on my actions and my cultural awareness.”
To view a video of Monday’s meeting, go to marioncoherald.com .