Tallahassee Police Chief Mike DeLeo Resigns; Outlaw Named Interim Chief

Jun 12, 2019

The City of Tallassee will soon have a job opening for a new police chief. Mike DeLeo has submitted a letter of resignation effective July 5th. 

Tallahassee Police Chief Mike DeLeo submitted a letter of resignation to the city. It's effective July 5th.
Credit talgov.com

Update 3:00 p.m.: Major Steve Outlaw, a 32-year vetran of TPD, has been named interim Chief of Police. In a statement, City Manager Reese Goad thanked outgoing chief Mike DeLeo for his service and says a nationwide search will begin immediately though it will likely take months to find a new chief.

"I would like to thank Chief DeLeo for his five years of public service to the citizens of Tallahassee," Goad said in a statement. "During this time, many strides have made to enhance public safety, including implementation of a variety of community oriented policing strategies and citizen focused initiatives." 

In his resignation letter to the city, DeLeo said he was "presented with an opportunity to address criminal justice and homeland security issues on a national scale while having additional time with my family."

DeLeo noted a 28% drop in violent crime during his tenure along with a 14% increase in solved cases. He also said the agency's response time had dropped to five minutes--four minutes shorter than when he was first appointed. 

In 2015 he faced questions over his decision to date a subordinate. And a complaint filed last year from a group calling itself Concerned Employees of TPD alleged discrimination against black officers. The complaint prompted the Big Bend chapter of the Police Benevolent Association to call for an investigation into the department. It later retracted the request.

DeLeo also clashed with County Commissioner Bill Proctor over where to construct a new police department. That has led the city to consider locations other than the Southside. The city has also seen an increasing rate of shootings during the past few years.

In a statement, Proctor called DeLeo's departure "a blessing" and also called for the Human Rights Council to investigate the complaint from "Concerned Employees of TPD". 

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Original Story: Tallahassee Police Chief spokesman Damon Miller says Mike DeLeo’s resignation is effective on July 5th but that he expects the chief to remain in the office until then. No city officials were immediately available for comment. WTXL first reported DeLeo’s resignation.

DeLeo took over TPD in 2013 after former chief Dennis Jones, was ousted for his handling of the use of force and DUI arrest of a local woman. DeLeo has been working to clean up the department, which has faced accusations of excessive use of force.

But his tenure has also seen controversies. In 2015 he faced questions over his decision to date a subordinate. And a complaint filed last year from a group calling itself Concerned Employees of TPD alleged discrimination against black officers. The complaint prompted the Big Bend chapter of the Police Benevolent Association to call for an investigation into the department. It later retracted the request.

DeLeo also clashed with County Commissioner Bill Proctor over where to construct a new police department. That has led the city to consider locations other than the Southside. The city has also seen an increasing rate of shootings during the past few years.

Check back later on for more on this story.