Ferguson Gets Another Interim Police Chief

Andre Anderson wouldn't mind sticking around for a while
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 22, 2015 10:09 AM CDT
Andre Anderson.   (Glendale PD)

(Newser) – Andre Anderson has stepped into the revolving door of the Ferguson, Mo., police department. The city today announced the 50-year-old will be interim chief of its force, marking the third leadership change that's occurred in four months, reports the AP. Anderson has taken a six-month leave of absence from his current job as police commander in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, where he oversaw some 200 detectives and patrol officers. But the AP observes that Anderson seems more than willing to extend that leave. "I'm hoping that I'm a candidate for the full-time position," Anderson said. Among his priorities, Anderson says he wants to help attract and hire qualified applicants for police jobs, filling positions "that reflect the demographics of the community."

After the March release of a scathing Justice Department report citing racial bias and profiling in policing, Police Chief Tom Jackson resigned. Assistant chief Al Eickhoff was promoted to interim chief. With Anderson's arrival, Eickhoff will return to his role as assistant chief. Anderson is black, the AP notes. Eickhoff and Jackson, who was chief for five years, are white. Ferguson is about two-thirds black but the vast majority of its police officers are white. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites a 1999 Arizona Republic profile of Anderson with some colorful details: The "formidable amateur" boxer won two professional fights before he was forced to stop boxing after his pelvis was crushed in 1988 when he was hit by a car while fixing a flat tire. He went on to volunteer with a boxing program for at-risk kids. (Read more Ferguson, Missouri stories.)

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