Tallahassee Police Chief candidate list narrowed to 10 finalists

By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 9, 2019

The Community Partners Committee will hold interviews with each finalist starting at 8 a.m. on November 4.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Tallahassee's Community Partners Committee narrowed the list of candidates for the city's new chief of police from 17 names to 10 names.

Here are the finalists for the Tallahassee Police Department Chief of Police opening:

  • John Dale - Colonel and the Executive Director of the Department of Investigations in the Broward Sheriff's Office. He also previously worked for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
  • Antonio Gilliam - Assistant Police Chief for the St. Petersburg Police Department, with more than 18 years of experience. He is a Tallahassee native and an FSU graduate.
  • Argatha Gilmore - Chief of Police for Lake City, and a former TPD officer. During her time in Tallahassee, she was a Division Commander in the Southern Sector, Internal Affairs, Technical Services Division, Alpha District, Charlie District, and Special Operations.
  • Steve Outlaw - Interim Chief of Police of TPD since former Chief DeLeo's resignation in early July. He has been a member of TPD since 1987.
  • Lawrence Revell - Major in the Criminal Investigations Bureau of TPD. He has also served as Major for the High Risk Offenders Bureau, the Special Response Team, and Captain for Research and Development. Revell has been a member of TPD since 1992.
  • Glenn Sapp - Chief of Police for the Quincy Police Department since 2014, and the Assistant Chief from 2011 until then. He was also a member of the Tallahassee Police Department from 1988 until 2011.
  • Lonnie Scott - Major in the Administrative Services Bureau Commander of TPD. He also previously served as member of the Gainesville Police Department in the capacities of Professional Standards and Support Services Bureau Commander and Emergency Manager for the City of Gainesville.
  • Audrey Smith - Chief of the Department of Youth & Accreditation Services for the Leon County Sheriff's Office. She was also a member of the Tallahassee Police Department from 1988 to 2017.
  • Eric Smith - Deputy Chief in Orlando, and has been a police officer there from 1994 until 2005, before being promoted to Sergeant.
  • Perry Tarrant - Assistant Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department from 2015 to 2018. He has also worked for the City of Yakima, Washington as the Emergency Preparedness Director, and the Tucson Police Department as a Police Captain and Lieutenant.

    City Manager Reese Goad began Wednesday's meeting with a moment of silence for one of the candidates who passed away on Saturday. Chris Connell was a member of the Tallahassee Police Department for 28 years, and he also served as the Director of Capitol Police.

    The first three speakers at the meeting emphasized the importance of a candidate knowing Tallahassee and how TPD operates.

    Conversely, Chief Jerome Gaines highlighted the positive effect of a new, outside perspective, rather than a candidate who already works in the area.

    "I want to make sure that we put the right person in the position to be successful," Gaines said.

    Gaines himself was an outside here, moving to Tallahassee from Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the Fire Chief position.

    "You have to be willing to step out and try something different and bring in a different perspective. That's why I think it's important," said Gaines. "You have to have people from the outside come in and ask questions and see what they can bring to the table to change things."

    Each member of the group listed their personal top six candidates; when those were tallied, all six candidates were current or former TPD employees. That's when Chief Gaines, as well as others, brought up the importance of "outside" candidates.

    Four candidates tied for the seventh-most votes: John Dale, Antonio Gilliam, Eric Smith, and Perry Tarrant. The group again went around the table, listing their personal top two choices of those four. Dale and Gilliam won that vote, but the group ultimately decided to include all four, bringing the total to ten.

    City Manager Reese Goad is not an official member of the committee, but presided over the meeting. He discussed the difficult choice the committee had to make.

    "The committee talked through that thoroughly; I thought they made a really good decision to make sure that we heard the voices of those candidates from close by, as well as those from around the nation," said Goad.

    The committee will hold interviews starting at 8 a.m. on November 4. The goal is for three candidates to move on to community interviews, but the committee may allow a maximum five finalists to move on to the next stage of the hiring process. Goad will make the ultimate decision after those meetings.

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