Sanford makes job offer for new police chief - FOX 35 News Orlando

Sanford makes job offer for new police chief

Posted: Updated:
Photo Courtesy: Elgin Police Department Photo Courtesy: Elgin Police Department
  • 911 CallsMore>>

  • 911 calls released in Sanford shooting

    911 calls released in Sanford shooting

    Wednesday, April 11 2012 9:52 AM EDT2012-04-11 13:52:36 GMT
    Sanford Police have released the 911 calls placed on the night of a fatal shooting which took the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
    Sanford Police have released the 911 calls placed on the night of a fatal shooting which took the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
  • Exclusive InterviewMore>>

  • Robert Zimmerman interview

    Robert Zimmerman interview

    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
    For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.
SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Sanford's City Manager says he has picked the person he wants as their next top cop, and it is someone who has experience with race relations in his own department in Elgin, Illinois.

City officials are now waiting to see if Cecil Smith accepts the offer for the job that comes with a $110,000 salary.

"I think that Chief Smith is the right person and we'll work with him," said Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte.  

Smith has been with the Elgin Police Dept in Illinois for more than 20 years.

"We need a chief that will relate to the community and that will be able to build bridges with the community," Bonaparte added.   One who will build bridges when it comes to racial tensions, especially after fatal shooting of Travyon Martin last year.

We talked to Smith, who told us that he has plenty of experience when it comes to mending race relations.  "I'm the first African-American Deputy Chief in 150 years here at the police department, and I think it says a great deal for where we were 20 years ago. But we've come a long way to resolve the issues and concerns within the department and the community as a whole."

Back in 1997, Smith and several other officers filed a race discrimination suit against the Elgin Police Dept.  Smith said he didn't get the promotion he deserved. "I think, at the time, there were some supervisors who had some deep seeded feelings."

The case was settled and Smith eventually climbed the ranks at the department. Another officer recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Elgin Police Department, claiming racism still exists there.  While Chief Smith couldn't comment on the case, he did say, "This officer, in particular in this case, had come to the other deputy chief and myself and presented the information, and I believe I had a good push to make sure the city, which has done a great job in my opinion, has done their best to ensure that there's no issues in the police department."

"He was my top choice, " said Sanford City Commissioner Patty Mahany who supports Smith. "He has a lot of experience in diverse communities, and he has a lot of experience in areas where there is some high crime."

Smith said the key to solving conflicts is to, "work together to solve the issues, before they get to the boiling point.  I think we can resolve this."

We asked Smith if he planned to take the job, to which he responded, "Right now, we're in that negotiating thing, so it really depends on how it plays out. If we can come to some terms in the next week, that would be great."

Bonaparte has not set a deadline for Smith to take the job, but he said he hopes it will happen soon.  Meanwhile, Interim Chief Richard Myers continues to earn $10,000 a month.

 

  • Photos of Casey Anthony

  • Click here to see photos of Casey Anthony through the months.
  • Trayvon Martin Coverage

  • Click here for stories, photos and 911 calls from the Trayvon Martin case.

Follow us on Pinterest

 

 
 

FOX 35 Weather Authority

Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices