Copperas Cove hires Stoddard as new Parks & Recreation Director
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The City of Copperas Cove has hired from within for its Director of Parks and Recreation, with Deputy Chief of Police Jeffrey Stoddard leaving the police department and starting on the job as of Monday, Nov. 25.
Stoddard replaces former director Joe Brown, who left the position to become Killeen’s Executive Director of Recreation Services in May of this year.
He was interviewed for the position on Monday, November 18, according to Kevin Keller, the city’s public information officer.
Stoddard has been employed by the city of Copperas Cove since October 1991, when he was hired as a patrol officer for the department, rising through the ranks until he was promoted to deputy chief of police in October 2017.
Stoddard said he is excited for the new opportunity and looks forward to serving the community in this new role.
The Parks and Recreation Department has had a multi-phase, multi-million-dollar improvements project ongoing since 2017, and Keller said that the improvements have continued since Brown’s departure, and will continue.
As for the vacancy created with Stoddard’s departure from the police department, that position will hopefully be filled sometime within the next year, said Police Chief Eddie Wilson.
“The police department has other priorities they were working on prior to (Stoddard’s) departure and are looking to complete them before promoting a new Deputy Chief. The PD does not see a need to hire from the outside so the plan is to promote internally,” Wilson said. “Until then, the responsibilities will be shared by other members of the command staff. Some temporary restructuring will include Cpt. Jeremy Alber taking on the supervision of Animal Control and Cpt. Gabe Cardona taking on the supervision of Code Compliance.”
Prior to being offered the position, in addition to being Deputy Chief of Police, Stoddard was also serving as the Interim Superintendent of Parks & Recreation, with Keller serving as interim Director of Parks & Recreation.
Stoddard is also a command sergeant major with the United States Army Reserves legal command and first enlisted in 1984 during his senior year of high school. Stoddard’s military and civilian education includes PLDC; BNCOC (Distinguished Leadership Awardee); ANCOC; the U.S. Army Sergeant’s Major Academy, and he has over 80 hours of studies in the areas of Paralegal and Criminal Justice from Central Texas College. Stoddard also holds a Master Peace Officer Certificate, Firearms Instructor Certificate, and Instructor’s Certificate.