The Pensacola City Council voted unanimously last night to approve Mayor Ashton Hayward’s nomination of David Alexander III as Chief of Police. Alexander, who is currently serving as Acting Chief, will formally take office as Chief of Police after outgoing Chief Chip Simmons’ departure on August 1.
Alexander is the first African-American Chief of Police in the nearly two-hundred year history of the Pensacola Police Department.
“David has a wide range of experience, a heart for public service, and a tremendous love for this community,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward. “He is a proven leader and the right person to lead our police department. David and I will work closely together to build on our successes and continue to deliver the results and first-class service our citizens expect and deserve.”
Alexander has more than 30 years of service with the Pensacola Police Department, having joined the department as a cadet in 1983. Alexander was promoted to officer in 1984, to sergeant in 1993, to lieutenant in 1998, and to captain in 2002 before being promoted to Assistant Chief last year. During his career, he has supervised the department’s field training program, dispatch, Neighborhood Policing Unit, and Criminal Investigations Division. Alexander holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice as well as a master’s degree in human resources management from Troy State University. Alexander is deeply involved in the community, serving as an assistant pastor and youth leader at Jesus Holy Tabernacle Church and volunteering his time with Northwest Florida Congregations in Action, Northwest Florida Prevention Coalition, and the JHT (Justice, Hope and Training) Safe Haven Development Center.
Speaking last night, Alexander thanked Mayor Hayward and the City Council for their confidence in his leadership. “There is really nothing more important to me than striving to be a good person,” said Chief Alexander. “I accept this appointment with honor, and with recognition to my wife, my family, my colleagues in the community, and all those who have played a special part in my life. I am incredibly honored and excited to serve as Chief of Police.”
Concurrent with Chief Alexander’s appointment, Captain Tommi Lyter will also be promoted to Assistant Chief. Captain Lyter was hired as a police officer in August 1990. Lyter received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration from Troy State University. Lyter 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. Both Alexander and Lyter are graduates of the FBI National Academy program in Quantico, VA.
“I am impressed each and every day by the professionalism, expertise, and dedication of the men and women of the Pensacola Police Department,” said Mayor Hayward. “They have done an incredible job over the past several years, reducing crime by double-digits while achieving accreditation and increasing transparency through new initiatives such as body cameras. I couldn’t be more excited about the leadership team we have in place with Chief Alexander and Assistant Chief Lyter.”