Chief David Alexander III stepped down from the highest position in the City of Pensacola’s Police Department on Friday, May 5, 2017 after 32 years in law enforcement. At the age of 57 years old, this police chief has seen the good, bad and the ugly. However, he is encouraged by the activities going on in the community and plans to remain engaged. Alexander held the position of Pensacola Police Chief from July 2015 and took on the challenge of becoming the first African-American to hold that position in Pensacola.
There were many in the community that thought the Mayor should have kept Alexander as chief, however, Mayor Hayward stuck to the rules of the Florida DROP Program where Alexander opted to sign up for. DROP stands for Deferred Retirement Option Program, which allows officials to collect both a retirement check and a monthly paycheck for up to five years. So, his City of Pensacola contract had his DROP date as May 14th not allowing him to remain in the position beyond that date. There were many events held in support of him remaining in the post, but he was respectful of the government process and accepted the retirement.
During the time that he was Captain Alexander, he held a strong advocacy for community policing. In an interview with the Gulf Coast Voice, Alexander discussed one of his law enforcement passions: Community Policing! He stated in the interview that, “Modern day community policing came through the administration of President George H. Bush and was launched in Philadelphia by a gentleman who received an honorary degree from Drexel University whose name is Dr. Herman Rice. Rice launched his approach of modern community policing and called it the Rice Process. The Rice Process was actually a “turn-around” project that was launched in various communities that were having social-economic problems on top of crime problems. What it did was brought people out of their silos to work together for change.” During the time that he was Captain Alexander, he held a strong advocacy for community policing.
When asked the question if programs like the Rice Process would motivate him to continue to advocate for initiatives like it to bring about change in local communities he responded, “I would definitely be open to doing this type of work as a consultant to facilitate those types of programs because I believe I could work on the project from the civilian perspective and the law enforcement perspective. One of things I plan to do is to stay engaged in the multiple levels of community involvement particularly at the government level so that things which should be done will be done!” He spoke passionately about working with communities particularly those that are disenfranchised and underserved.
One of the former chief’s favorite community initiatives as he leaves the top post at the City of Pensacola Police Department is Achieve Escambia. In relation to Achieve Escambia, Alexander stated, “When you align people resources and problems together then you can make a collective impact on any community area. But when we are in our silos and not connecting to people where problems are then you got to do a whole lot of things and you get nothing done.”
What is Achieve Escambia????
Achieve Escambia is Pensacola’s first cradle to career collective impact effort. It is an “all-in” partnership of Escambia County leaders and stakeholders in education, non-profit, business, faith, community, civic, and philanthropic sectors committed to align our community resources so everyone is empowered to achieve success. The partnership shares a vision and strategy for improving cradle to career outcomes through a structured, evidence-based, long-term approach. Using research-based outcomes, Achieve Escambia will track annual achievement data county-wide for each of several critical cradle to career stages.
High School Graduation
During the conclusion of the interview, Alexander made it clear that, “I am still here carrying my experiences, my training, my relationships, and my motivation and I am prepared to remain engaged”!!!!!