STOCKTON (CBS13) –  He’s been the top cop in Stockton for nearly a decade, but Police Chief Eric Jones says he’s ready to retire.

Jones is gearing up for a new chapter in life after serving nearly 30 years in law enforcement — a decade of that as the chief of the Stockton Police Department.

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“I feel like I left the place a little better than when I came on and I hope the next police chief does the same,” he said.

Jones joined the Stockton Police Department in 1993, rising through several ranks, including sergeant, captain, deputy chief and assistant chief, ultimately becoming chief in March 2012.

He’s just the latest police chief in our area to announce his retirement.
Modesto chief Galen Carroll retired last Christmas, Brandon Gillespie was named as his replacement last month.

“And so it just felt like the right time for not only me but the right time for this department,” said Sacramento Police Department Chief Daniel Hahn.

And after a tumultuous four years at the helm, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn announced last month he’s stepping down at the end of the year. Rebuilding community-police relations is a common thread in all the departments losing their top cops.

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In Stockton, the Devin Carter case came to light in January. The teen’s family accusing four Stockton police officers of beating the teen after a traffic stop and short chase. Two of the officers were fired and the two others were Disciplined.

“That was a very sad case where I had to terminate some officers and I made some public statements because that’s not what our department stood for,” said Jones.

Jones said he’s proud of the work he accomplished at the helm but acknowledges there’s always room for improvement.

“We should always be striving to improve and push ourselves into new territory and be better people all the time,” he said.

Stockton City Manager Harry Black black says Jones is recognized nationally for his leadership and that his will be tough shoes to fill.

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Jones plans to step down at the end of the year.