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Proctor Calls For More Oversight Of TPD As Search For A New Police Chief Nears

Bill Proctor standing in dark suit and striped tie

The City of Tallahassee will soon begin searching for a new police chief and Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor has four suggestions for how that search should proceed. 

Proctor represents District 1, which also happens to contain the highest rates of crime in the city. That, he says, is why he's speaking out on the selection process for a new Chief of Police.

Speaking to reporters in the county courthouse rotunda Tuesday, Proctor outlined for issues he wants the city to consider as it prepares to search for a new police chief. Among them: greater consider citizen input in all phases of its search process, hire a person who can develop strong relationships with citizens and local officials and focus on diversifying the department’s ranks.

Proctor adds "there ought to be a non-racist and non-sexist who serves. And you all know in our previous administration we had complaints that went to the Human Relations Council that a lot of information that says there was racial unfairness with respect to the upward professional mobility of officers who were black.” 

The commissioner wants the city to reopen a review of a February complaint from a group of anonymous TPD employees who accuse outgoing police chief Mike DeLeo of racism and sexism in hirings, firings and promotions.

Proctor and DeLeo clashed over a failed effort to relocate TPD to the Southside, and Proctor pointed to that debacle, saying, “we cannot have a white nationalist-led police department in the capital of Florida. We’re not standing for it and that’s why the people didn’t want it-- because they didn’t want white-nationalism in the middle of where they live at, and that’s what this office has grown into. And I am asking it be reversed.”

DeLeo submitted a resignation to City Manager Reese Goad saying he would be stepping down in early July. Goad says he plans to have citizen input in the selection process, and says it will likely be months before a new chief is named. 

Proctor is also calling for the city to appoint a citizen oversight board, a suggestion he first made last October.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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