St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman has appointed Assistant Police Chief Dave DeKay as the city’s interim police chief after Chief Chuck Harmon retires Jan. 6.
The appointment was announced today after Kriseman had his first meeting with Mayor Bill Foster following Kriseman’s Election Day victory last week.
In their City Hall meeting, Kriseman and Foster also discussed the state of negotiations between the city and the Tampa Bay Rays over the team’s wish to look for new stadium sites.
Foster had planned to form a public safety advisory panel to interview candidates and make hiring recommendations from which he would choose a new chief.
With an interim police chief in place, Kriseman, who takes office Jan. 2, said he plans to hire an outside firm to continue the search and increase the pool of candidates.
DeKay joined the St. Petersburg Police Department in 1982 and has been an assistant chief in the department’s investigative services bureau since 2007.
He helped plan and operate security for several VIP visits, including then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was shot while responding to an armed robbery in 1984.
“I have tremendous confidence in Dave DeKay,” Kriseman said in a statement. “He has protected and served our community for more than 30 years and has long been a respected leader within the department.”