Deal offered chief job
Winter Park has found its new police chief, again.
The city recently offered the position of police chief to Atlantic Beach Police Chief J. Michael Deal, who accepted the offer and is currently undergoing a background check process, City Spokesperson Clarissa Howard said.
The city was forced to go back to the drawing board after its top pick for chief, Vernon Hale hailing from the Dallas Police Department, withdrew his acceptance of the position last month.
In the meantime Winter Park also recently named two acting police chiefs to head its police department – a temporary solution while the city finishes installing its next police chief.
The city has assigned Winter Park Police Department Captains Jeffrey Biles and Jon Askins to share the duties of acting police chief for the time being, after longtime chief Brett Railey retired last week.
“It is a huge honor to be the acting chief here at Winter Park,” Biles said. “It’s a lot of responsibility and I’m definitely up for the challenge.”
“I think it’s an awesome responsibility for anyone to have and to have the trust put in you by the community and the city manager,” Askins said. “It’s very humbling.”
“I feel that my job in this is to be a stabilizing force to help us transition through, heading in the right direction and doing what we already do, which is provide some of the best quality police services in the state.”
Howard said the City Commission should make its final vote to appoint Deal as police chief this month after the background check process is complete.