Arlington to conduct national search for police chief, appoints two interim leaders

Jaime Ayala, left, and Kevin Kolbye, right

    As the City of Arlington conducts a nationwide search for its new police chief, it will have two leading in the meantime.

    City officials announced that its two assistant police chiefs, Jaime Ayala and Kevin Kolbye, will lead  the department on an interim, rotating basis following the retirement of Police Chief Will Johnson. Johnson, a 23-year Arlington Police Department veteran, has served as police chief since 2013.

    “Chiefs Ayala and Kolbye are experienced and knowledgeable leaders — both with a strong background in all areas of police operations — and will serve our community well,” City Manager Trey Yelverton said.

    Ayala, a 31-year veteran who was awarded the State of Texas Medal of Valor, will serve as interim police chief from May 28-July 31. Kolbye, a 37-year law enforcement veteran who joined Arlington in 2015 from the FBI, will serve from Aug. 1-Sept. 30.

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    “It is an honor to be given an opportunity to lead such a great workforce and serve such a vibrant community. We will continue our efforts to work with our community partners to keep Arlington safe,” Ayala said.

    Ayala is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Major City Chiefs Police Executive Leadership Institute and the FBI National Executive Institute.

    Kolbye, a 2019 graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute, has also attended the FBI’s Executive Development Institute.

    “I am humbled by this opportunity to lead the men and women of this police department. I look forward to continuing to serve the community with our tradition of excellence,” Kolbye said.

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    Under Johnson’s leadership, the Arlington Police Department has continued to build a national reputation as a premier law enforcement agency in promoting community policing, procedural justice, and protecting the civil rights of all persons.

    Among their many awards and accolades, the department received first place in the National Night Out Campaign in 2018, and Arlington was selected as one of 15 agencies nationwide for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

    A community event to celebrate Johnson’s service in Arlington is planned for June. Details about the public event will be announced on the City’s website at a future date.

    The city plans to name a successor to Johnson by September.