Longboat’s new Police Chief seeks to continue Key success

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Kelli Smith began her first week as Longboat Key’s new Police Chief. She said she wants to maintain Longboat’s high level of service and extremely low crime rate and can count on the professionalism of the existing staff.

“I am beyond grateful and excited for the opportunity to join the community of Longboat Key,” said Chief Smith.

Smith has more than 29 years of law enforcement experience and most recently was Police Chief for Northern Arizona University. Prior to that, she retired as a Major from the University of Central Florida Police Department. She has a B.S. in Criminal Justice/Public Administration and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida.

Town Manager Tom Harmer said he is confident that Smith, “will hit the ground running.”

Harmer went through an extensive national search to select Chief Smith and Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells, Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, North Port Chief Todd Garrison and Sarasota County Sheriff Elect Kurt Hoffman all helped Harmer vet candidates.

Chief Smith replaces Chief Pete Cumming who served his last day on Oct. 23. Cumming had a 40-year law enforcement career and was with the Town of Longboat Key for more than 12 years.

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