City of Sanford selects new police chief

Published On: Jan 30 2013 05:07:06 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 29 2013 07:06:49 PM EST

The city of Sanford has officially offered the position of Sanford Police Chief to its top candidate after months of accepting applications and interviewing.

According to a release, Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte sent an offer of employment for the position to Cecil E. Smith, Deputy Chief of the Elgin Illinois Police Department.

Bonaparte considered input from Mayor Jeff Triplett, city commissioners and residents of Sanford who attended the public community forum with the 5 finalists. City officials also said the feedback from the law enforcement officials and review panel who interviewed the candidates.

The offer of employment, with an annual salary of $110,469 is conditional, contingent upon Smith’s acceptance of an employment agreement and the successful completion of a city initiated background check, pre-employment physical and drug screen, according to the city officials.

If Smith accepts the job, he would replace former police chief Bill Lee, who was fired in June 2012 after drawing criticism for his department's actions in the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation in February 2012.

Martin's parents criticized the agency for not arresting neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman immediately after the shooting death of their son.

Zimmerman wasn't arrested until 44 days after Martin's death last February.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense.

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