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Enlightening discussion!

Arlington — Comerica Bank exec Irv Ashford and Arlington Police Chief Al Jones had a candid discussion about leadership, led by moderator, Booker T. Spencer, of Bootstrap Entrepreneurs, Inc., Monday at Choctaw Stadium.
 
Comerica’s Irv Ashford, moderator Booker T. Spencer and Arlington Chief Al Jones

Comerica’s Irv Ashford, moderator Booker T. Spencer and Arlington Chief Al Jones

 
The men talked about leading during COVID and serving the community during a time like none other for most during their lifetime, since the last pandemic was inFor Chief Jones, the experience was more challenging as he moved to Texas during the pandemic and took on Top Chief duties where he was in charge of people he didn’t know and had to work with and lead via ZOOM and other virtual platforms.Hired in November 2020, he previously served as second highest ranking officer for the Baltimore (MD) County police department.
 
When he came to Arlington, the morale was low, he said.“I brought new ideas, allowed officer to make decisions and listened to the officers,” he said.
 
“Officers wanted to be heard. They’ve been hearing ‘defund the police’ every day and then they have to go out and ‘protect and serve.’ They needed to hear that they have support.”
 
There were changes made that the chief said helped to put smiles on the faces of officers.
 
“I believe in relational policing,” he explained. “Transparency, respect, engagement, accountability and training. That spells “TREAT” and we focus on how we treat our community.”
 
As Chief Community Officer, Ashford, who moved to Texas after Comerica announced it was relocating its headquarters in 2007, it was business as usual as he immediately made his presence felt spreading a message of community, financial literacy and helping small businesses develop and grow. However the restrictions of COVID called for increased efforts in many areas and included helping businesses stay open, volunteering and partnering with organizations to serve communities, providing PPE loans and supporting communities wherever there was a need,“Our team did a fantastic job of serving,” he noted.
 
And just as Ashford was prepared by his education, experience and commitment; and has continued to climb the corporate ladder, so was his team and the thousands of employees who he said transitioned quickly and efficiently into doing what needed to be done to serve customers and their communities. There’s so much more to what was shared, including some good books to read, according to Ashford and Jones, like “The Arsonist in the Organization” by Pete Havel and “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu or the “Autobiography of Malcolm X.”
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