PLANT CITY Ed Duncan was sworn in Monday as the 23rd police chief in the city’s nearly 130-year history.
Family members, friends and several top area law enforcement officials were on hand as Duncan, a 58-year-old retired sheriff’s colonel, formally took the helm. He received a standing ovation and was showered with praise.
His former boss, Sheriff David Gee, said Plant City made a fine choice in selecting Duncan over about 60 other candidates for the job. Gee said Duncan is a capable, dedicated law enforcement officer.
“He wants to make a difference and I think he will make a difference,” Gee said.
Interim City Manager David Sollenberger said he has never made a personnel decision that received as many favorable comments as he did after he announced Duncan’s hiring last month.
Sollenberger said Duncan stood out during the search process, including to an interview committee that included two private citizens.
“It was a clear consensus that there was one best choice, and that was Ed Duncan,” he said.
Duncan, who retired from the sheriff’s office in 2012 after a 34-year career, will be paid $99,750 per year.
He replaces Steve Singletary, who was fired in January after allegations surfaced that he had a relationship with a woman during times he should have been at work. Singletary admitted the affair but said it occurred on his personal time and didn’t affect his job performance.
Duncan said he looks forward to leading the department, which he said has fine officers who have ignored the turmoil of the last few months and kept the city safe.
Duncan is a longtime Plant City resident and was part of the security detail at the Florida Strawberry Festival for 20 years.