Sarasota hired its first black police chief.
Interim Chief Mikel Hollaway was appointed to the post today.
“I couldn’t walk away from a police department that has basically been my life,” he said.
Hollaway, 50, is a 28-year veteran of the Sarasota Police Department. He’s served in every division except criminal investigations. That institutional knowledge is what gave him an advantage over the other 144 applicants.
“In the final analysis, we couldn’t find a better person than Chief Hollaway to lead this police department,” said City Manager Bob Bartolotta.
The decision was made just three days after the application deadline passed.
Hollaway was named interim chief in May, when former Chief Peter Abbott resigned.
Bartolotta said in those three months, Hollaway demonstrated the characteristics he was seeking in a new chief.
“He’s firm but fair," he said. "He instills respect. He holds staff accountable. I will be his strongest backer.”
Hollaway is not only the Sarasota Police Department’s first black chief but also its first black sergeant, lieutenant and captain.
“He’s been a trailblazer his entire career,” the city manager said.
Hollaway’s first order of business: “Go back to the department and thank all the people who’ve supported me," he said.
With salary and benefits, Hollaway will earn $132,000 per year.
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