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Panama City Police Department names interim chief of police

On Thursday, officials with the city of Panama City named Mark Smith the interim chief of...
On Thursday, officials with the city of Panama City named Mark Smith the interim chief of police; he'll begin his new duties July 16.(CITY OF PANAMA CITY)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 3:47 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Deputy Chief Mark Smith was named the interim police chief of the Panama City Police Department by City Manager Mark McQueen on Thursday.

Smith has been with the Panama City Police Department for 17 years. He currently serves as the deputy chief of operations. Smith got his bachelor’s degree in 1986 from Florida State University and is in the process of obtaining his master’s degree in law enforcement intelligence.

“Mark Smith was selected because of his breadth of knowledge in law enforcement and his outstanding leadership ability,” said McQueen. “The mayor, commissioners, and I have the utmost trust and confidence in Mark to lead the police department during the search for a permanent selection for chief of police.”

The current chief of police, Scott Ervin, announced in June that he is retiring on July 16. Ervin has been with the Panama City Police Department for 22 years. He served as chief of police for the past nine years.

“I am excited for the opportunity to build upon the vision and leadership that Chief Ervin has created for the Police Department,” said Smith. “I remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of our citizens, visitors, and police officers.”

Naming an interim chief is the first step in the process of choosing the next chief of police. McQueen will work on the selection process.

“We are casting a wide net to find the best person to lead the Panama City Police Department,” said McQueen. “We are looking for a chief who will lead with excellence and continue to provide the highest level of safety and security for our community.”

Chief Ervin will be recognized for his service at the Panama City commission meeting on July 13.

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