Columbus Chief of Police Kim Jacobs plans to retire in February. In a Christmas Eve press release, Mayor Andrew Ginther says the city will launch a nationwide search for Jacobs’ replacement.
If the city hires a chief from outside of the department, it would be the first time in its history.
“This bold, historic move is something I fought for and won in arbitration because the people of Columbus and our police officers deserve the very best person to fill this role, whether that person comes from inside or outside the division,” Ginther said in the email.
Last year, the city’s Civil Service Commission approved changes to job descriptions to allow searches to include outside candidates.
“I am looking for someone committed to increasing diversity among police officers, aligning how we police with community expectations, and approaching this position as an opportunity to serve and protect every person in every neighborhood,” Ginther’s statement continued.
Jacobs joined the force in 1979, just four years after Columbus Police began training women to work in patrol. She became the division’s first woman chief in 2012.
Ginther’s email did not give a reason for Jacobs’ retirement. She recently took medical leave for knee surgery.