Moab Police Chief resigns for new position at Utah Department of Corrections

The deputy chief will take office in September.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Moab Police Chief Jared Garcia, seen here in 2018 when he was captain of the Utah Highway Patrol, is leaving the city to take a new job with the state.

Moab • Fourteen months after taking office, Moab Police Chief Jared Garcia announced this week that he would be leaving the department effective Sept. 22, city spokeswoman Lisa Church said in an email. Garcia accepted the position of Deputy Executive Director of the Utah Department of Corrections.

Since May 2022, Garcia has been working to reorganize and expand the Moab Police Department with the goal of improving officer morale and training and building strong relationships within the community, Church wrote.

“During that time, his dedication and commitment to the department, the community and the city have resulted in the development of an outstanding community-based police force that every Moab resident can be proud of,” said Moab Mayor Joette Langianese. “Jared has been a great asset to the city and community.”

“He has fulfilled his promise to put the Metropolitan Police back on a solid footing and we appreciate that,” Langianese said. “We wish he would stay, but we understand this is an excellent opportunity for Chief Garcia and his family.”

Moab City Manager Carly Castle praised Garcia’s strong leadership and his tireless efforts to recruit, hire and train new officers and build a fully staffed department.

“We were very fortunate to have someone with his experience,” Castle said. “He has worked hard to transform the police department and build a responsive, professional administrative staff and police force. He will be missed.”

Garcia said the decision to leave Moab was a difficult one for him and he is grateful to the community for being so welcoming to him and his family.

“It has been an absolute honor to serve as Chief of Police for this amazing community. My family and I will forever cherish the experience of living in Moab and all of the relationships we’ve formed,” Garcia said.

“I want to thank Carly Castle, Mayor Joette Langianese, and the City Council for giving me the opportunity to serve here,” he added. “I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive group of guides.”

He also thanked Moab Police Department officers and administrative staff for their dedication and support.

“I am extremely proud of the progress we have made since I arrived at the Moab Police Department. We have undoubtedly established a professional culture and formed a team of dedicated people who understand the tremendous responsibility of ensuring public safety in our city,” Garcia said. “I’m also proud of the strategic plan we’ve put in place and believe the entire team will continue their commitment to keeping people safe.”

Deputy Chief of Police Alexander Bell has been chosen to take over as Chief of Police when Garcia departs.

“Assistant Chief Bell has been in law enforcement for more than two decades. He knows our department and those responsible and is extremely qualified. He’s an excellent choice to move the department forward,” Langianese said.

Castle echoed the mayor’s point of view, saying: “I am delighted that Alexander Bell has agreed to become the next police chief. I have full confidence in his ability to continue the positive changes in the police force into the future.”

Bell said he was grateful for the support he received from city leaders.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to continue to serve the community of Moab as Chief of Police. I look forward to continuing to build on the professional culture established during Chief Jared Garcia’s tenure,” said Bell. “I am committed to meeting the goals and standards set out in the Moab Police Department Strategic Plan and will build on the achievements we have made over the past year and a half. I applaud the commitment of all our officers to excellence and their desire to serve and protect this community.”

“We will continue to train diligently to ensure all of our officers have the knowledge and experience to meet the many challenges of the law enforcement service. As a leader, I will strive to continue to build on the wonderful relationships we have with our community partners, businesses, schools and the community.”

Bell thanked Castle, Langianese, and the Moab City Council for the opportunity to serve as chief.

“Never have I felt more supported by a group of city guides than I did here in Moab,” he said, adding, “I would like to thank Chief Jared Garcia for his outstanding leadership, drive to achieve difficult and challenging goals, mentorship and… thank you.” An example of professionalism for all of us here in Moab. I wish him well in all his future endeavors and thank him for the excellent job he has done in moving the Moab Police Force forward so quickly.”

This story was first published at

Justin Scaccy

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