Melanie Bevan, once passed over for the top police job in St. Petersburg, became Bradenton's police chief Tuesday.
Bevan beat out more than 100 candidates to replace retiring Chief Michael Radzilowski.
Her hiring ends a long career at the police department of Pinellas County's largest city, a tenure that began in 1986 when Bevan was 19.
Most recently, she served as assistant chief for administrative services.
In 2014, Mayor Rick Kriseman angered some segments of the department and the city when he looked outside the department and chose Clearwater's chief, Anthony Holloway, as the new chief. Bevan had been the leading internal candidate.
On Tuesday, Kriseman wished Bevan well.
"I am happy for Chief Bevan and her family and believe the residents of Bradenton will be well-served by her experience and leadership. We are all grateful for her many years of dedication to the citizens in St. Petersburg," Kriseman said in a statement.
Bevan wasn't immediately available for comment. Holloway declined to comment.
Bevan will start her new job in mid February, Bradenton police Capt. William Fowler said.