The Pensacola Police Department welcomed a new Chief of Police, as Eric Randall, who comes to Pensacola via Newport News, Virginia was sworn in today at City Hall. His predecessor, Interim Chief Kevin Christman who will be returning to his previous position as Deputy Chief of Police, served as today’s Master of Ceremony.
An invocation was read by Reverend John Powell, Sr. of Truth for Youth, and a presentation of colors was given by the Pensacola Police Department Honor Guard.
Many notable political figures, community leaders, and law enforcement officials were in attendance to welcome Chief Randall back home to Pensacola. After the pledge, remarks and introduction to the new Chief were given by both the Mayor of Pensacola, Grover Robinson, and Deputy Chief Christman.
Mayor Robison thanked our current command staff, who had built our foundation at the PPD. He referred to Randall as a “local boy who had gone away and returned,” as Randall had previously graduated from Washington High School before moving away and serving his country in the military. Mayor Robinson stated that he hoped Chief Randall will “build on PPD’s sustained history of excellence.” He recognized our community is coming up on our 200 year anniversary, and that he is excited to see what the next 200 years holds.
“Chief Randall will need the help of all of us in this room to continue to make the Pensacola Police Department a success,” Robinson said.
Deputies Chief Christman continued with a poignant introduction of Randall. “Chief Randall embodies the core values of the Pensacola Police Department: Courtesy, Integrity, and Professionalism,” Christman stated. He stated that he admired his “willingness to walk to the walk.”
Randall’s wife, Barbara, the presented him with his Chief’s badge. In a tender moment, she placed her hand on his cheek, and looked at her husband in appreciation for his years of sacrifices and hard work.
Chief Randall’s Oath of Office was administered by The Honorable Judge Amy Brodersen of the First Judicial Circuit of Florida.
Finally, Chief Randall took to the microphone to make his own remarks.
Randall thanked God, his family, and the Pensacola community, and most notably, his wife Barbara and his children whom have supported him over the year as he worked long shifts. He also was grateful to those whom he had worked with over the years. Two of those colleagues, Chief Steve Drew and Assistant Chief Michael Grinstead from the Newport News Police, were in house today to support their friend and former colleague, all the way from Virginia.
Chief Randall also took the time to thank Deputy Chief Kevin Christman, who had been incredibly supportive since he had came on board. He was grateful to all public safety personnel for their hard work and sacrifices on a daily basis. He recognized that it can be a demanding and complex career, however each assignment he has had has helped him grow and enabled him to touch lives. Randall has complete confidence that together, they can overcome the challenges ahead.
Chief Randall stated that we must never forget the importance of a positive attitude and a good work ethics. He emphasized that the PPD will prioritize courteous service and mutual trust to the public, with officers respecting the dignity and rights of all people. Randall says the PPD to work hard to build partnerships and relationships with the community, as he believes we are a team who should focus on working with other team members in the community to identify issues with within ourselves. He acknowledged that it is important that “we trust one another” (members of law enforcement agencies) and that similarly, our community must trust law enforcement.
With priorities such as economic development, effective communications, and relationship-building, Chief Randall is set to lead the PPD with a focus on community policing.
“Ask yourself daily what you have done to make your community a better place,” Randall says. “We have to walk the talk, and set the example for others to emulate.”