The City of Waco is making major changes to its leadership, including the police department.
Current Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt will become the new Assistant City Manager. Holt will remain the police chief until a new chief is selected. Assistant Chiefs Frank Gentsch, Robert Lanning, and Mark Norcross will help with day to day oversight.
Holt will oversee the departments of Police, Fire, Animal Services, Cameron Park Zoo, and Parks and Recreation.
Current Assistant City Manager Bradley Ford has been promoted to Deputy City Manager. Ford will oversee the operations of all City Departments and will continue his focus on economic development, as well as Planning and Inspection Services.
City Manager Wiley Stem III will focus on City Council Priorities and overall administration and goals of Waco.
“Ryan Holt has been an absolute asset to the City of Waco not only in the Police Department, but in other ways. He’s a great community partner. He’s a community outreach person in the various roles he’s served in the police department,” says Larry Holze, City of Waco spokesperson.
Ryan Holt has been with the Waco Police Department since 1999, and became chief of police in 2017. Holt’s promotion will leave the City of Waco in search of a new chief in the coming months.
Assistant Police Chiefs Frank Gentsch, Robert Lanning, and Mark Norcross will handle the department’s day-to-day operations. But Holze says Holt won’t be handing over his badge just yet.
“He’s going to remain as the designated police chief by the City Council. He has three assistant chiefs that are still running the operation of the police department, and so, he will be officed over at the police department for a while and officed over here at City Hall, as well,” says Holze.
Holze says the chief’s experience with the department will play a key role as he oversees the city’s police, fire, and animal services departments, as well as the Cameron Park Zoo and the Parks and Recreation Department.
“He’s grown up through the ranks dealing with issues all throughout the community. He’s done a really great job. I think that’s one of the reasons the city manager selected him to be our assistant city manager. He’s great with the community. He has a great respect and report not only with his own troops, but with the community as a whole,” says Holze.
The city hopes Holt’s career spanning over decades will help create Waco’s new city leaders.
“Part of the role of city manager is to grow new leaders, and you just don’t want to bring in new people from out of town all the time. I mean, that’s fine, but when you have good home-grown people that have gone through the ranks, they know Waco and they’re well-received in the community. They’re community partners in many respects. Those to me make the best employees and ambassadors to city government,” says Holze.