Tallahassee Police Chief DeLeo resigning

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
June 12, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo is resigning, effective July 5.

The Tallahassee Police Department tells WCTV that Chief DeLeo met with command staff and sent a letter to the department Wednesday informing them of his resignation.

In a statement, Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad said Major Steve Outlaw will serve as Interim Chief as a nationwide search is conducted to fill the position permanently.

Goad's full statement can be seen below.

"Today, I accepted the resignation of Police Chief Michael DeLeo. Effective July 6, Major Steve Outlaw will begin serving as Interim Chief. A nationwide search will begin immediately to permanently fill the position.

I would like to thank Chief DeLeo for his five years of public service to the citizens of Tallahassee. During this time, many strides have been made to enhance public safety, including the implementation of a variety of community oriented policing strategies and citizen focused initiatives. The department recently received international recognition for its leadership in community policing and efforts toward inclusive community collaboration.

This community policing philosophy provides a solid foundation for the department as officers uphold TPD’s core values of trust, loyalty and commitment. Serving the Capital City since 1841, the department has a distinguished history, serving as the third oldest law enforcement agency in the United States. When formalized local public safety efforts began nearly 200 years ago, a single night watchman was tasked with keeping the peace. Today, it takes 410 sworn officers, 125 non-sworn members and a host of temporary and volunteer civilians, along with a $59 million budget, to ensure citizen safety. As the longest nationally accredited agency in the country, TPD is a national leader, one that continues to evolve by integrating modern policing approaches and strengthening community relationships.

Moving forward, TPD will build on its successes and remain a model agency. I would like to thank all the TPD officers and employees for faithfully serving this community. The action of any police officer can impact an individual for life and a community for generations. The loyalty and dedication of our officers are unwavering, as is our support for them."

DeLeo was hired as Chief in 2014, coming to Tallahassee from the Plantation Police Department in Plantation, Florida.

He's had a rocky tenure as Chief, facing claims of racial discrimination, calls for suspension and complaints over a relationship with a subordinate.

Under DeLeo, the Tallahassee Police Department has also faced criticism for the city's gun violence and high crime rate.

DeLeo's resignation letter can be seen attached to this story.

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