By: WCTV Eyewitness News
December 5, 2019
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WCTV) -- On Thursday, newly appointed Tallahassee Police Chief Antonio Gilliam held a press conference at the St. Petersburg Police Department to speak publicly for the first time about being named the new top cop for the city.
You can watch the full press conference and see quotes from the press conference below.
"Everything the last 24 hours has been a blessing, it's been a hurricane, but it's been very positive."
"It's a great opportunity to go back home and to try to make a difference, try to make a change...and to provide my services as a result of some of the things I've learned in St. Petersburg and apply that in Tallahassee."
"My mother still lives in Tallahassee. My friends, my cousins, I was born in Tallahassee Memorial Hospital."
"Although things weren't perfect growing up in Tallahassee, I can tell you that over the last five years it has gotten worse. I saw the opportunity to try to be a driving force and change that."
"We have to build a sense of cohesion between TPD and the citizens of Tallahassee."
"Immediately we have to build the bond back between the community and police department. Immediately we have to improve our recruitment efforts, our retention efforts, and immediately address violent crime."
"A lot of tears, tears of joy."
"I never dreamt I would be the chief of police in Tallahassee."
"It is possible to move up the ranks and maintain your own humanity. I've always been and individual comfortable standing by myself and I've maintained who I am."
"They want a chief that will communicate with them, they want a chief who will dispel any rumors they want a police chief who will lay out a plan that is an open book, they don't want to operate in secrecy,
"They really had to find somebody that had roots, that had connections and understood the political aspect of Tallahassee, the college atmosphere of Tallahasese, and the population of Tallahassee"
"Policing is common sense folks, it's not rocket science. It's common sense.
"I'm going to do what I always do, give it my all, 100%."