Ex-Colorado chief hired in Sanford, Fla.

May 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM
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SANFORD, Fla., May 2 (UPI) -- A former police chief in Colorado has been hired as interim police chief in Sanford, Fla., where the chief has temporarily stepped aside, the city manager said.

City Manager Norton Bonaparte said Richard W. Myers, who had served as police chief in Colorado Springs from 2007 through October, will lead the Sanford department for at least three months, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has been on paid leave since March 22, when commissioners expressed a lack of confidence in the investigation of the Feb. 26 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder by a special prosecutor.

Bonaparte had said he was seeking an outsider who could assess daily operations of the department.

Myers, 57, who is to start as interim chief Friday, has been in law enforcement nearly 30 years, the Sentinel said.

Myers didn't respond to requests for an interview Tuesday, the Sentinel said.

In a statement released by the city, he said, "I intend on being an active leader, and there will be nothing interim about the need to move quickly to better understand the issues that the department and the community [are] facing."

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reported Myers resigned in October as a result of the mayor's desire to "change direction." Myers then became interim chief in Manitou Springs, Colo., a suburb of Colorado Springs.

Myers, a native of Rochester, Mich., has also served as a police chief in Wisconsin and in suburbs of Chicago and Detroit.

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