Pensacola city council members on Thursday voted unanimously to approve Mayor Ashton Hayward’s nomination of Tommi Lyter as the city’s new police chief.

Lyter replaces David Alexander — the city’s first black police chief — who retired last week.

A 27-year veteran of the department, Lyter holds a bachelors degree in criminal justice and masters in public administration from Troy State University. Lyter was promoted to sergeant in 2003, to lieutenant in 2006, and to captain in 2014 before becoming assistant chief in 2015.

Over his career, he’s served with most of the police department’s various units, including patrol, investigations, and neighborhood services, and has served as commander of both the SWAT and dive teams. More recently, Lyter served as the project manager for the department’s body camera program.

In addition to his service with the police department, Lyter has been active in the community with organizations including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Leadership Pensacola, the Community Drug and Alcohol Coalition, the Esca-Rosa Coalition on the Homeless, and Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival. Lyter received Leadership Pensacola’s Eric Doelker Memorial Award in 2016.


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