By KAROLYN GEPHART
Former Chief of Police for the City of Friendswood Jared D. Stout passed away Jan. 14, in Colorado.
Many in the area remember Chief Stout’s career defining investigation of the Laura Smither murder in April 1997. From his department’s work, the FPD is now held as a respected expert in the investigation of missing children and the community response to such an event.
His legacy in the area began March 1989 and continued until he retired April 11, 2001.
During this time, he also designed programs of prevention, education and enforcement to combat substance abuse and to implement Zero Tolerance plan for citizens, schools, parents and church group use.
He initiated community-oriented policing on revised statements of Department values and mission.
His significant accomplishments did not begin when he arrived in Friendswood.
From 1967 to 1971, Stout was a Washington, D.C. based reporter holding assignments with United Press International, the Washington Post, the Newhouse National News Service and the Chicago Daily News Syndicate and focused on coverage of the principle entities in US law enforcement at the US Department of Justice, Labor and Treasury and on the US Supreme Court.
He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for performance in assignments to two regulatory commissions, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission.
He received three National awards for distinguished national reporting: Sigma Delta Chi, the White House Correspondents Association in memory of Raymond E. Clapper and the National Headliners Club.
Stout served as Assistant Director of The Police Foundation in Washington, D.C. from 1971 to 1974. He was responsible for a program with more than $2 million in grants annually to municipal police agencies.
He was Commander of Planning and Research for the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department for five years and established the Department’s first organized crime unit and first auto theft squad. He also established a Mobile Crisis Team to provide on-the-street psychological support in domestic violence, attempted suicide and hostage/barricade cases.
He also supervised the design and construction of three police substations.
For nine years between 1979 to 1988 Stout was Chief of Police for Rockville, Maryland. He developed and implemented programs that reduced property crime rates, and improved clearance rates.
After one year as Management Consultant for the Police Executive Research Forum, Stout arrived in Texas and was named chief in Friendswood.
“I had the privilege of working with Chief Stout for several years,” former City Manager Ron Cox said. “He was always loyal to Friendswood and a valuable member of the leadership of our community.”
Stout was responsible for hiring Chief Robert Wieners in 1999. They met when Wieners, then Lieutenant Colonel Wieners (USMC), brought troops to Friendswood in 1997 to help in the search for Laura Smither.
Friendswood resident Dee Dee Bender remembers Stout as a kind friend. As a Girl Scout leader, Bender would hold meetings at the Girl Scout house near the former Police Station. Stout would periodically walk through the house during a meeting and say hello.
“He would always tell me that when he could he liked to walk through and see the young scouts to remind himself why he had the job he had. They were a reminder of whom he wanted to protect and make a future for them that was bright,” Bender said. “He was a sweet, dear man and I considered him a friend.”
Stout retired to Colorado to be near his children and grandchildren. They will hold an informal memorial for Stout at his favorite dog park in the spring.