ST. PETERSBURG — The city got a new assistant police chief on Friday, part of a batch of promotions at the department.
Melanie J. Bevan, 46, who has been major of the executive operations division since 2005, will become an assistant police chief. She has been on the force for 26 years.
"She's more than qualified, if you look at her education and what she's done for the department," police Chief Chuck Harmon said. "It was an easy choice."
Bevan has been part of Harmon's command staff for years and was in charge of the agency's planning for the Republican National Convention this summer.
She holds bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. She also is an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Barry University.
Bevan became a sergeant at the Police Department in 1994 and a lieutenant in 1999 before her last promotion to major seven years ago.
She grew up in Pinellas County and has two sons.
Bevan currently makes $101,846. Her new salary hasn't been determined yet. The salary range for an assistant chief at the agency is from $109,060 to $126,937.
Bevan's appointment means the department now has four assistant police chiefs. Things will probably remain that way until September 2013, when Assistant Chief Cedric Gordon retires.
Gordon, who is head of the administrative services bureau, has been on leave since the Oct. 13 death of his 24-year-old daughter, Army Spc. Brittany Bria Gordon, killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
Gordon told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday that he anticipates returning to the office sometime after the new year.
Bevan said she is excited about the opportunity. "I'm humbled that Chief Harmon chose me," she said. "I am absolutely thrilled."
Other leadership changes include the following:
Gary L. Dukeman was promoted to lieutenant, and Rickey L. Barber, David J. Gerardo, Jerry M. Hensley, Brian C. Taylor and Christopher S. Vaughan are all now sergeants. Dispatcher Eileen A. Maloney was promoted to emergency communications supervisor.
The promotions take effect Dec. 10.