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New police chief takes command in Largo

John L. Carroll walked into City Hall on Tuesday evening as Largo's long-serving deputy police chief.

He walked out as the new chief.

In a swearing-in ceremony attended by dozens of friends, family and department officials, Carroll took the oath of office from City Attorney Alan Zimmet. His wife of 30 years, Linda Carroll, and daughter Laura Carroll, 23, pinned on his new badge and uniform stars.

"It's really special to put somebody in this position who has come up through the ranks of this department," Mayor Patricia Gerard said.

Carroll, 51, a Largo High School graduate, worked his way up in the department over the past three decades.

Carroll kept his comments before the crowd brief. "I am humbled and honored to be given this position," he said.

When Carroll moves into the chief's office today, he said he will need to get to work reorganizing the department's command structure, selecting his new deputy chief and captains. The ranks were slightly shuffled with his ascension.

Carroll, who worked closely developing department standards and policies with well-liked outgoing Chief Lester Aradi, said after the swearing-in that his familiarity with Largo and its Police Department will result in an easy transition.

"I really felt like we worked as a team. We had the same goals in mind," Carroll said of his relationship with Aradi.

Aradi officially retired Tuesday after spending nearly a decade as the department's chief.

While deputy chief over the past eight years, Carroll earned a bachelor's degree and received training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. His son, Shaun Carroll, 26, is a firefighter-paramedic with the Largo Fire Department.

Dominick Tao can be reached at dtao@sptimes.com or (727) 580-2951.

New police chief takes command in Largo 06/01/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 9:03pm]
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