Met Council announces new Metro Transit Police Chief

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2023

Portrait of Ernest Morales II in City of New York Police Department uniform.After conducting a national search, the Metropolitan Council is pleased to announce it has selected a new Chief of the Metro Transit Police Department.

Ernest Morales III joins the Metro Transit Police Department from New York, where he spent most of his career in the New York City Police Department, managing all levels of projects including crisis management, investigations, and administration. He’s a proven leader known for his ability to build effective relationships that collaboratively address security issues through empathy, communication, trust, and understanding.

“Providing a safe, welcoming transit experience for our transit customers and employees is always a top priority for the Met Council and Metro Transit,” said Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “Public safety needs trust and collaboration between all public safety agencies and the people it serves. I am confident Mr. Morales, a respected leader, will work hard not only to support existing relationships but create an environment where our officers can be successful and feel supported in their jobs.”

“As one of the most important leadership positions for the Met Council, the Chief of the Metro Transit Police Department needs to be a change agent that understands not only law enforcement, but the communities we serve,” said Wes Kooistra, general manager of Metro Transit. “Mr. Morales is a proven leader in this area, assembling high-functioning teams that create and implement strategies that foster innovation and change in the policing environment.”

Morales comes to Metro Transit with a strong and successful history in public safety. In his role in the Mount Vernon Police Department, Morales was responsible for establishing department policies and procedures. He led the coordination of multiple divisions including patrol services, criminal investigations, and code of conduct enforcement. He also oversaw the performance of the department’s sworn officers and civilian staff.

Prior to Mount Vernon, Morales worked his way up through the public safety ranks, holding positions such as a Deputy Inspector in New York, and Commanding Officer in the Transit Bureau.

Morales has a Master of Science in protection management and a Bachelor of Science in police administration, and retired with 22 years of U.S. Navy Reserve experience with joint and international exposure involving high-level national security matters.

Morales will begin his new role at Metro Transit on Feb. 27, 2023.

Posted In: Transportation

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