By: WCTV Eyewitness News
January 6, 2020
The ceremony for Lawrence Revell's formal swearing in as TPD Chief was held at 10 a.m. Monday at the Jack McLean Community Center.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Lawrence Revell has officially been sworn in as Tallahassee's Chief of Police.
The ceremony for the formal swearing in was held at 10 a.m. Monday at the Jack McLean Community Center. Revell chose the location for the event as a tribute to his south side roots.
It was a packed house: More than 250 people attended the ceremony.
You can watch the full ceremony, which aired live on the WCTV Facebook page, below.
Revell has been with TPD for 28 years, working his way through the ranks, and finally taking the top spot.
Many community leaders attended the ceremony, including all four city commissioners, Mayor John Dailey, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, Tallahassee Fire Chief Jerome Gaines and Tallahassee Community College Chief of Police Greg Gibson.
TPD Interim Chief Steve Outlaw, who held the position since Chief Michael DeLeo resigned on July 5, spoke to the crowd.
"It's an awesome responsibility, and I welcome you," Outlaw said.
Shortly after Officer Damon Miller read the official promotion of Revell from City Manager Reese Goad, Revell took the podium.
“Our hope for unity is being realized and we must continue to seize the momentum that has been started,” Revell said. “I’m encouraged by the optimism and hope within TPD.”
During his speech, Revell thanked his family, church and friends for support. He also thanked the city commissioners and the city manager for the opportunity.
“Thank you to the community for trusting me with this role," he said. "I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Revell discussed tackling youth crime with WCTV. A strategy he presented was allowing graduates of the City's TEMPO program to become community service officers.
"There's a clear pathway from that to sworn officers," he said. "And once they become sworn officers, put them right back in the communities they grew up in, just like me, and then they can be role models in that community."
Following the speech, Revell invited any and all religious leaders to come forward to be led in prayer by Reverend R. B. Holmes.
Religious leaders praying over and blessing Chief Revell: “if God is for you, who can be against you?” pic.twitter.com/MLs4wXxJVS— Monica Casey (@MonicaCaseyNews) January 6, 2020
Revell will have three deputy chiefs, who will assist TPD to move into the community in quadrants.
"Our command structure has to be set for that, so that we can do that seamlessly," Revell says. "So I'm preparing command staff now for those transitions."
He also says one of his main goal is to make community-led policing more than just a catchphrase.
"What I think may be the issue in a certain neighborhood, they may not care about it at all," Revell says. "And if that doesn't have a direct impact on them, on their quality of life, then maybe we shouldn't put as much of an emphasis on that."
The search for a new chief was a roller coaster ride: The city's initial choice for the job, Antonio Gilliam, backed out of the position due to a contract dispute. Following that, another finalist, former TPD Major Lonnie Scott, took his hat out of the ring as well. Scott said he had already accepted a new job with the Gainesville Police Department after he was passed over when the City made its first selection.
Despite the speed bumps along the way, city commissioners say they're happy with the end result.
"We established the process, we followed the process and I'm grateful that at the end of it today, we have a new chief of police," City Commissioner Elaine Bryant says.
Mayor John Dailey says he's also pleased with the outcome of the search.
"I give the City Manager and the Deputy City Manager credit for running a very transparent process, creating a working group of citizens to come forward to make the recommendations," Dailey says. "Yeah it's a lot of time, it's a lot of energy, it's a lot of work, but I think it went very well."
Outgoing Chief Steve Outlaw will help Revell during the transition period over the next two weeks; Outlaw has held the interim job since July 5, when Michael DeLeo resigned.
Check out WCTV's previous coverage on Tallahassee's six-month search for a new top cop below:
Antonio Gilliam no longer taking Tallahassee Chief of Police Job
Lonnie Scott resigns from Tallahassee Police Department
City leaders react to Gilliam's letter backing out of Chief job
Commissioner Proctor weighs in on Gilliam stepping down from Chief job
Tallahassee to select new Police Chief from pool of 7 finalists
Community leaders set goals for new chief of TPD, interim chief discusses plans
WCTV speaks with each Tallahassee Police Chief finalist
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