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St. Petersburg assistant police chief a finalist for top spot in Bradenton

Melanie Bevan

Times file

Melanie Bevan



Veteran cop Melanie Bevan, once a favorite to take over as police chief in St. Petersburg, may skip down the Skyway to lead Bradenton's police department if she is selected among nine finalists for the position.

The Bradenton Herald reports that Bevan, with nearly three decades in law enforcement, is in the final group of 118 applicants for the Bradenton opening.

She told the Herald's Jessica De Leon: "I'm convinced I not only possess the leadership skills and experience required for the chief position, I also bring a lifetime commitment to the region, which will serve to strengthen my connections with the Bradenton community."

You may remember Bevan's name from last year's search for a police chief in St. Petersburg. She was the last internal candidate standing before Mayor Rick Kriseman went off the board and plucked Chief Tony Holloway from Clearwater. Bevan was the favorite for many local residents and politicians, and there was considerable whiplash after Kriseman's quick shift in the selection process.

Bevan has been in St. Petersburg for a while, but her career trajectory clearly points to one last promotion. Holloway has earned early plaudits and is just a year into the new job. 

Bevan is known as a gym rat and lover of street work. Give a read to Kameel Stanley's great profile of her from 2012.

A taste: Bevan was too young to drink, too young to buy bullets and could barely shoot straight when she joined the department in 1986. She was 19.

A Largo girl with big hair who always put her hand up to work the "hot" areas.

She rode around downtown on a bike, buying crack. She still has a scar on her stomach from a drug deal. Rain started to fall during the buy, causing the undercover wires taped against her skin to short out and begin to sizzle. She never flinched. Her supervisors were impressed, but Bevan still had a long way to go to prove herself.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 15, 2015 8:28am]


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