Veteran Maryland cop chosen as Provo's new police chief
John King, a police academy director from Hagerstown, Md., was named Wednesday as Provo's new police chief.
King, a 30-year-old law enforcement veteran, begins his new duties in December, Provo Mayor John Curtis said.
"Chief King's professional career has prepared him well for this position," Curtis said in a prepared statement. "He has a blend of successful involvement in police-related operations, community awareness, and innovative ways to use technology."
Prior to his work at the police academy, King was chief of police in Gaithersburg, Md.
King succeeds Rick Gregory, who stepped down in July after just two years on the job. Gregory said he decided to move back to Ohio to be closer to his children.
Gregory, a former Delaware lawman, senatorial staffer and lieutenant colonel with Florida Highway Patrol, was hired in June 2011 to replace Dave Bolda, who had been serving as interim chief after Chief Craig Geslison retired in January 2011. Geslison announced his departure just as an external investigation into his department began.
Geslison's retirement came on the heels of ex-officer Jeffery Westerman's guilty plea to attempted forcible sexual abuse and obstructing justice for groping a woman during a traffic incident, and Officer Mark Petersen's "no contest" plea to charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice for allegedly threatening his girlfriend with a handgun.
A third officer had also resigned under pressure after he was accused of stealing prescription pills from a Provo home during a 911 call.
King was selected to replace Gregory from a pool of more than 60 applicants.
"I've been impressed with Chief King and his ability to connect with people. This talent was evident in the interview process. His name continued to bubble up to the top of everyone's list. I couldn't be more pleased that we have an applicant all parties know was the best," Curtis said.