Pensacola Police Department

Chief Tommi Lyter

Chief Lyter small picTommi Lyter was appointed Chief of Police by Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward III on May 11, 2017.

He was named Acting Chief of the Pensacola Police Department on May 6, 2017, one day after the previous Chief of Police – David Alexander III – retired.

He began his career with the Pensacola Police Department when he was hired as a police officer in August 1990. He was promoted to sergeant in 2003, promoted to lieutenant in 2006, to captain in 2014, and to Assistant Chief on July 16, 2015.

Among his assignments have been Uniform Patrol, Investigations, Neighborhood Services, TAC, SWAT, K-9, Dive Team, and Field Training Officer. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA.

Chief Lyter has received three bronze crosses, one unit citation, a Chief’s Award, one meritorious service award, and one Grand Cordon. His department responsibilities have included project manager for body cameras and a citywide surveillance system.

He is on the Board of Directors for the Community Drug and Alcohol Coalition, volunteers with the Make a Wish Foundation, and works closely with neighborhood associations and Crime Watch groups.

Chief Lyter can be reached by phone at 850-435-1855 or via email at

Bias-based Policing

Maintenance of public trust and confidence in the police are critical to effective policing and are achieved largely through fair and equitable treatment of the public. This is a basic requirement of law enforcement and the right of all persons in our society. All persons having contact with members of this department shall be treated in a non-partisan, fair, equitable and objective manner, in accordance with law, and without consideration of their race, color, ethnicity, creed, age, gender, and sexual orientation, national origin, socio-economic standing or other individual characteristics or distinctions.

Bias-based policing, also referred to in some instances as (illegal) profiling, refers to a decision by an officer to stop, detain or search an individual based solely on the race, color, ethnicity, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, socio-economic standing, or individual characteristics or distinctions. The Pensacola Police Department prohibits biased-based policing/ illegal profiling as a law enforcement tactic and will not tolerate or condone its use by any member.

However, criminal profiling is a legitimate law enforcement tool. It is an investigative method by which an officer, through observation of activities and environment, identifies suspicious behavior by individuals and develops a legal basis, consistent with the Fourth Amendment, to detain and question.

Any person may file a complaint with the department if they believe they have been stopped or searched based on illegal profiling/bias-based policing. No person shall be discouraged, intimidated or coerced from filing such a complaint.

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