David Alexander Sworn In as First Pensacola Black Police Chief
Excerpts from Alexander’s Official Speech
Chief David Alexander was officially sworn in as Pensacola’s first Black Police Chief on Wednesday August 5th at the Sanders Beach-Corrine Jones Resource Center while a standing room only crowd listened in silence to the historical moment. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward spoke as a proud chief executive of his decision to promote Alexander to his new post. Then, Escambia County Judge Patricia A. Kinsey conducted the swearing in of the installation ceremony and gave the new chief a huge hug after the formal process was concluded. Following his taking the oath of office, Alexander’s wife, Alcuin, pinned the Chief’s new badge on him. Thus, the formal process was complete as Pensacola Police Department’s first black Chief of Police in the department’s 194 year history was sworn in.
Chief Alexander has served with the department since 1983, working his way up to assistant chief last year. After his swearing in appointment, Alexander expressed thanks to Mayor Ashton Hayward, City Council members, and community members, thanking them for the confidence they have expressed in him. He stated, “I’m encouraged by all the support I have received, and I will not let you down”. He continued his remarks by saying, “This year has already been historical, and it’s not over. We continue to hear various proclamations promising the delivery of change. My friends, change is here. The question we have is how will we respond to change?
The new chief went on to share his perspectives on present day challenges and issues between communities and law enforcement when he stated, “Problems in society change in degree and in magnitude. Problems in the city of Pensacola change in scope and seriousness. Among my responsibilities as Chief of Police are to anticipate, respond to and mitigate negative aspects of change while positive change is being encouraged and facilitated. Although the challenges we must confront change, our fundamental responsibilities never change. So, the basic mission of police is to prevent crime and disorder while reducing the levels of fear in the community”. He went on to speak to the entire police force, uniform officers and civilians, on their conduct, integrity, and role in protecting the community.
Then the first African-American Police Chief turned his comments to the community and promised an, “open, accountable, accessible police department responsive to your concerns”. He went on to say, “It is my desire that someday consenting support for the Pensacola Police will be uniformly strong across every neighborhood and from every sector of society”. Alexanders rise through the ranks included his being in charge of the department’s community policing program. Now that he has ascended to the highest post in the police department, and it showed in his following comments: “We will work to earn your trust. Reducing crime, fear and disorder while treating you with dignity and respect will be our down payment on earning that trust. What I expect in return is for every neighborhood to understand that public safety is not a spectator sport. Safe neighborhoods are the result of people and police working together”.
The intersection where his love of community and his duty as a law enforcement professional was depicted in his comments about the community as a village. He stated, “My officers will use every