MOAB, Utah (ABC4) — Moab Police Chief Jared Garcia has announced that he will be leaving the Moab Police Dept. to be the Utah Dept. of Corrections‘ new executive deputy director, according to a press release.

Garcia’s exit from the Moab Police Dept. will reportedly be effective Sept. 22. He has been with the department for a little over a year, having joined in May 2022.

The release states that Garcia’s goal when joining up with Moab Police was to improve officer morale and training, and to build strong relationships within the community.

Moab Mayor Joette Langianese had this to say about Garcia’s time with the department: “During that time, his dedication and commitment to the department, the community and the city have resulted in the development of an excellent community-based police force that every Moab resident can be proud of.”

Garcia reportedly helped build the department up to be fully staffed — recruiting, hiring, and training new officers. Garcia said his decision to leave has been difficult, and that he is grateful to the community for warmly welcoming him and his family.

Langianese continued, “He has accomplished his promise to get the city police department back on solid footing and we appreciate that.”

Assistant Police Chief Alexander Bell will be taking over as police chief when Garcia leaves, the release states. He has reportedly worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years. Langianese said, “He knows our department and its officers and is extremely well-qualified. He is an excellent choice to lead the department forward.”

Bell said he is grateful for the support he has received from city leadership, and for Garcia’s leadership, mentorship, and drive to face difficult challenges.