Skip to Content

Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones to retire


Geoff Jones -- the chief of the Columbia Police Department -- plans to retire, Columbia City Manager De’Carlon Seewood told ABC 17 News on Monday.

Jones made the announcement to his staff Monday afternoon. Jones was appointed to the position in 2019 after former chief Ken Burton stepped down amid criticism of his performance.

Seewood said Jones told him about his plans after last week's State of the City speech. Jones' last day will be Aug. 1, Seewood said.

Jones joined CPD as a cadet when he was 15 years old, according to his bio on the City of Columbia website.

"I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to lead and learn from such driven and passionate people who work at CPD," Jones said in a news release. "Serving as police chief has been an incredible experience, and I am proud to have been part of the team who works every day to protect our citizens. I also want to thank the community for the support I have received throughout my time in the Department."

Jones told ABC 17 News that he was not yet ready to talk about his reasons for retiring.

Jones' retirement announcement came before a Columbia City Council meeting Monday night where the Columbia Police Officers Association asked residents to lobby on its behalf, stating there has been a recent lack of support for law enforcement by the city.

The council is also hearing a presentation from CPOA, the labor union representing Columbia officers, in a meeting before the regular council meeting.

CPD has also drawn attention this spring for excessive force allegations against two officers. Those officers resigned, with their lawyer saying remarks by city leaders made them feel they wouldn't get a fair shake in an internal investigation.

A criminal investigation is ongoing.

Seewood said the city plans an extensive process including public focus groups and meetings to find out residents' priorities in the next chief's hiring. The city plans to hire an outside search firm to help find candidates.

The city manager praised Jones as a leader who cares about the community and the employees under him.

"You really see a path of someone who really cares about public service, cares about the citizen, cares about the community, because it's his community, and so I enjoyed working with him," Seewood told ABC 17 News. "I enjoyed working with him when I was the deputy city manager and definitely as the city manager."

Local City leaders including Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Roger Johnson, and CPOA member Don Weaver said they would miss Jones.

"He's really been a tremendous police officer, not only as a Chief, but I've worked with Chief Jones for years now," Johnson said.

"It's gonna be pretty difficult and probably impossible to find someone who has the dedication and the connection to the city of Columbia that he does," Weaver said.

Local activists are glad Jones is stepping away.

"I wasn't surprised that he is retiring," Race Matters, Friends member Susette Carter said. "I suspect he's under a lot of pressure and a lot of things that have happened."

"I'm actually happy to see that he's retiring. I'm hoping that he read the room and realized that it was time for a different police chief," Hold Como Accountable's Anthony Wilroth said.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

Jump to comments ↓

Ryan Shiner


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content