Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan stood at a podium Monday inside the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium Monday, two weeks after she announced the latest round of promotions at the Bradenton Police Department.
“Building a team of outstanding leaders is really never an easy task. Couple that with the responsibility of protecting lives and serving an entire community and it really becomes even more critical,” she said. “As chief, it’s my responsibility to this agency and — ultimately to this community — to make key leadership decisions and selections of personnel who will move our department forward with the utmost concern for a safe, ethical, and effective policing and I think all the individuals seated here today epitomize these values.”
I’m very happy the chief expressed confidence in me. I’ve worked with her pretty closely in the last few months since she’s been here. I think she’s understood that I’m going to give her all I’ve got and that my best interest is in the department’s best interest.
Josh Cramer, promoted to assistant chief of police for the Bradenton Police Department
To Bevan’s left sat four individuals who were seconds away from being promoted members of the agency.
They are: Bradenton Police Captain Josh Cramer, 44, of Bradenton, promoted to assistant chief of police in charge of the Patrol Division; Eva Marie Kelly, 40, of Old Myakka, promoted to lead dispatcher and set to work the midnight shift; Bradley Myers, 32, of Bradenton, promoted to lead dispatcher and set to work the day shift; Maria Cadena, 49, of Bradenton, promoted to lead records clerk. Paul McWade, 48, also sat beside them. McWade, who currently still lives in Clearwater and is searching for a new home in Manatee County, was hired as an assistant chief of police in charge of the Patrol Support Division. McWade recently retired from the St. Petersburg Police Department after 29 years.
“I’m excited,” said McWade, whose first official day with the Bradenton Police Department is Tuesday. “I’ve been looking forward to this challenge. I’m most looking forward to getting to know the city, the agency... and I’m looking forward to moving over here.”
With dispatch, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that hopefully I can relieve some of the stress from my superiors and do what I can to help the city.
Bradley Myers, promoted to lead dispatcher
Cramer, who joined the agency in 1995 and was promoted to captain in March 2015, said he was proud of being promoted to assistant chief.
“I’m very happy the chief expressed confidence in me. I’ve worked with her pretty closely in the last few months since she’s been here,” he said. “I think she’s understood that I’m going to give her all I’ve got, and that my best interest is in the department’s best interest.”
According to Cramer, Chief Bevan is smart to have assistant police chiefs who can be peers and ping-pong ideas off each other.
“Forward, obviously,” he said when asked what direction he’d like the Bradenton Police Department to move in. “We have to keep moving forward. Changes come and go, people come and go, but the department keeps rolling and we have to make sure that that happens in the best efficiency and the best model possible.”
Myers said he felt happy about being promoted to lead dispatcher.
“I’m glad I might be able to help as much as I can,” he said. “With dispatch, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that hopefully I can relieve some of that stress from my superiors and do what I can to help the city.”