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New Moline police chief plans on tackling juvenile crime, opioid addiction

MOLINE-- It still hasn't quite hit him.

"I was just speechless. I was just that floored and emotionally drained that I didn't really have any words I could say," says soon to be Chief John Hitchcock.

After a six month interview process, Hitchcock was chosen out of a pool of 49 candidates.

He's barely settled in his office, and Chief is already getting to work.

First thing on his agenda is battling juvenile crime.

"We've had the problem with the youngsters, juveniles getting into cars and taking them," says Hitchcock.

Video after video, you've seen them, kids stealing cars has been an epidemic in the Quad Cities for the last year and a half. Chief says the first step is informing the public to lock up their cars as well as dedicating more department resources to the problem.

Up next is dealing head on with opioid addiction. Chief wants to start programs that focus on treatment instead of incarceration.

"If we can get them to treatment, and we can get people to not use opioids anymore, there's no customer base there's no problem anymore," says Hitchcock.

And finally, he wants to focus on community connections.

"To work together with the public, to show them the human side and get them to help give you information," says Hitchcock.

You may notice Moline PD's social media accounts ramping up in the next few months. Chief wants to use social media to build stronger relationships with the people he serves.

"It's a way to get our message out, show people we're human and get the public on our side," says Hitchcock.

He's hitting the ground running to build a safer and stronger community.

"My door's always open. I'll always answer phones if someone wants to talk to me, I'm always going to be available," says Hitchcock.

Hitchcock will be officially sworn in as chief next Tuesday at Moline's city council meeting.