Congratulations to St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Melanie Bevan, soon to become Bradenton's police chief. The 49-year-old has spent her entire 29-year law enforcement career with St. Petersburg Police Department, rising through the ranks and earning the confidence and trust of Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston.
During Tuesday's standing-room-only news conference at City Hall, a beaming Bevan expressed gratitude and excitement at this opportunity.
In introducing his next police chief, Poston praised Bevan's leadership skills, professionalism, integrity, high standards and "great sense of humor." The latter of which she proved in joking with the mayor during the event (read her remark below).
Among 118 applicants and nine finalists, Bevan bested quite a crowd of quality candidates. She holds a doctorate in education in organizational leadership, a master's in public administration and a bachelor's in criminal justice.
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Current Chief Michael Radzilowski set a high bar for Bevan during his 13 years as the city's top cop, slashing the crime rate and boosting community relations. He's earned the community's thanks for a job well done.
Poston's great relationship with Radzilowski was readily apparent when he spoke with some emotion: "He's my chief, so it's a bittersweet time for me losing him, but I know where he lives. ... I can catch up with him."
Bevan will take the department reins upon Radzilowski's retirement, expected in several weeks. Bevan should be sworn in at 3 p.m. Feb. 16.
Welcome to Bradenton, Chief Bevan. We look forward to a dynamic relationship and to celebrating your success.
Quote of the week
"I actually used to be one of those people who said that I would do this job for free. Remember when we all first came on? You wouldn't have to pay me, I was having so much fun. ... Please don't get any ideas with that." -- Melanie Bevan, soon to be Bradenton's police chief, joking with Mayor Wayne Poston during the anouncement of her appointment, causing the audience to erupt in laughter.