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Lawrence Revell named new Tallahassee Police Chief

Posted at 10:38 AM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 06:00:38-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A large crowd of officers, city and community leaders gathered to support Lawrence Revell as chief.

Despite the bumpy road to get here, Tallahassee Police Department's new chief says he's focused on the future.

"We are going to break new ground when it comes to relationships with our law enforcement officers," said Revell.

Incoming Chief Revell says he's ready to get started.

Making the top of his list for 2020-- reaching out to the community, positive change within the department and working with law enforcement partners.

"I can assure you from my office, to the newest recruit, we will be completely transparent. I will tell them what's going on, I will tell them why it's going on and I will tell them my decisions," said Revell.

Revell says he's confident things will not end the way they did with Antonio Gilliam.

Gilliam stepped away from the opportunity after failing to reach an agreement with the city manager's office over his employment agreement. Part of that included making decisions free of city management interference.

"I will make decisions. There's always a professional relationship with my boss, with your boss, with everybody's boss and that will continue but I will lead this department and it will be me. No one else," said Revell.

"I couldn't feel more confident and the reason is I know he knows our community. Incoming Chief Revell will engage our community. I feel great about it," said Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad.

Mayor John Dailey was very vocal on social media when Gilliam decided to step away. Now, he's confident with the community behind this chief, things will get done the right way.

"I think everybody is really excited about Lawrence coming in as chief. We're closing this chapter of 2019, we're going to start on the right foot and we're going to move forward," said Dailey.

The Capital City officially has a new top cop.

Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad named Major Lawrence Revell as the Tallahassee Police Department's new police chief on Thursday at TPD's headquarters.

Major Revell is from Tallahassee and got his A.A. from Florida A&M University and his criminology degree from Florida State University before getting a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has been with TPD since 1992, serving as an officer, a sniper, a patrol sergeant, and a captain. He's worked with the Criminal Investigations Division, Research and Development, and Special Response Team.

Before being named police chief, he was the chair of the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Security Coordinating Group-Specialty Response Teams for the State of Florida and served as a Major in the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

This choice doesn't come without controversy after Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor revealed that Revell shot and killed George Williams, who ran over Revell's partner in 1996.

Revell was acquitted by a grand jury later that year, but has faced backlash from Proctor and others.

The decision also comes days after Major Lonnie Scott put in his resignation letter to TPD to serve as Assistant Police Chief in the City of Gainesville and a week after Antonio Gilliam backed out of the position due to a contract dispute.

We're also getting a first look at the details of Revell's employment agreement.

As we mentioned the agreement was part of what caused Antonio Gilliam to talk.

Revell officially accepted the position on Christmas Eve. He is on a five year employment agreement that runs through 2024.

His annual salary will be $180,000 a year.

As part of his agreement with the city it also states that he will be allowed to have authority to implement organizational structure for the department based on prior discussions with the city manager.

The agreement does not outline what those specific discussions were about.

You can view Revell's full employment agreement below.

Police Chief's Contract by Brandon Ingram on Scribd