Avon police chief removed amid leadership shakeup

Jack Miller. (Photo from http://www.avongov.org/)

AVON, Ind. (WISH) — Police Chief Jack Miller was released from duty Monday after serving in his post for the last seven years. It’s part of a shakeup to the top ranks in Avons Police Department taking effect this week.

Avon Town Manager Tom Klein confirmed to 24-Hour News 8 Monday that Miller was asked to step down.

He will be replaced by Sean Stoops, a lieutenant who has overseen the department’s Investigations Division since 2004. Stoops is one of the first six officers hired into the newly formed Avon Police Department in 1997, and has also worked for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, Klein said.

Assistant Police Chief Bill Weems, who had been with APD since 1997, also resigned his position Monday, according to Council President Marcus Turner.

“My decision is based on simply providing the best leadership possible for the Town of Avon,” said Turner in a statement to 24-Hour News 8. “I believe Sean Stoops will be an outstanding chief.”

Miller’s appointment in 2007 also came amid controversy, including threats of a lawsuit. He was appointed after serving as Plainfield’s police chief and chief deputy of the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department. Former Avon Police Chief Jeff Ritorto was demoted from the position he’d held since the department opened, just one day after the town council elected Mike Rogers as president.

Under Indiana law, town councils are charged with appointing a town manager to manage day-to-day operations, but the council president has sole discretion to appoint both the police chief and assistant police chief.

“It’s the council president’s prerogative to appoint who they see fit, and that’s what he did,” said Klein.

Stoops will take over as Avon Police Chief on Tuesday.

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