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Denton city manager goes outside department in choice for interim police chief

 The Denton Police Department headquarters.
The Denton Police Department headquarters.

Denton’s city manager has identified Jessica Robledo to possibly serve as the Denton Police Department’s interim chief of police, the city announced Friday.

City Manager Sara Hensley provided a statement to the following statement to the Denton Record-Chronicle Friday.

“Following the resignation of Chief [Doug] Shoemaker, I have engaged several consultants and worked tirelessly to identify a long-term Chief of Police that will provide direction and operational stability for the Denton Police Department,” Hensley said. “Jessica Robledo is a proven law enforcement leader with over thirty years of experience and is a wonderful addition to our public safety team.”

Shoemaker resigned Feb. 13 after 16 months of leadership and took personal leave until his last day on March 2.

Deputy Chief Bryan Cose has served as interim chief since Shoemaker’s resignation.

City spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck said Hensley had discussed with executive staff all along that she was considering bringing in an external interim chief.

“They were informed of that as soon as the resignation of Doug Shoemaker occurred,” Sternbeck said. “Sara, since that moment, has been in touch with several consultants that handle placements of chiefs, and Chief Robledo’s name was certainly recommended.”

Sternbeck said Hensley did not want to rush the decision, so Cose was named as interim until the city manager could decide on a more long-term interim chief for the department.

The Denton City Council still has to approve Robledo’s appointment at its meeting on Tuesday. But Sternbeck said he does not foresee any setbacks with Robledo being appointed.

If she is appointed, Robledo would become the first woman to serve as Denton’s chief of police.

The city will release more information about Robledo and her appointment after the council’s expected approval.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Robledo is a retired police chief who freelances for various public safety consultant groups.

She last served as chief of the Pflugerville Police Department for a little over four years until her retirement in 2021.

Before that, she served as an assistant chief for the Austin Police Department until 2016.

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Brooke Colombo | Denton Record-Chronicle