Molly Hennessy-Fiske, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
(The L.A. Times) — Alan “Al” Eickhoff, interim police chief in Ferguson, Mo., took over the embattled department in March after former Chief Tom Jackson resigned amid investigations into how police handled the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Eickhoff, 59, had joined the department as assistant chief five days before Brown’s shooting Aug. 9 by Officer Darren Wilson. Previously, he spent four years with the nearby Creve Coeur Police Department and 32 years with the St. Louis County Police Department.
After a grand jury decided in November not to indict Wilson in Brown’s death, riots erupted in Ferguson. Then in March, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice said Ferguson police had persistently and repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of African Americans. That led to the firing of the court clerk and the resignation of two officers, all of whom had sent racist emails, according to the report. The city manager and a municipal judge also resigned in the aftermath of the shooting.
Eickhoff recently discussed the challenges facing his department. Below is an excerpt, edited for length and clarity.