West Palm Beach Mayor Explains Changes Within City's Police Department

There will be a new chief of police in West Palm Beach. Mayor Keith James, who took office last month, says he is nominating former Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley to be the next top cop.

Current Chief Sarah Mooney has accepted the job of Assistant Chief of Police for Emergency Management.

"I didn't think that we were making progress the way that I wanted to make progress and I think it's time for a fresh set of eyes to look at the department."

Crime stats show there are more than 50 unsolved homicides in West Palm Beach since 2016 and James says most of the violent crime is happening in the north end of the city, which he says is just a few blocks.

"If we can't clean that up then what are we doing here from a public safety standpoint. I've had that conversation with Chief Adderley, he gets it."

There had been calls for Mooney to step down by people claiming there have been too many shootings and too few arrests, but James says it comes down to this.

"I'm not talking about maintaining the status quo of the police department. I am talking about injecting change into the department."

Adderley led the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for eight years, until 2016, when he left to work on the command staff of suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Adderley was dismissed when the new Broward Sheriff was appointed in January.

But, Mayor James says Adderley should be judged on the job he did while Fort Lauderdale's chief, not based on anything to do with Israel's performance at BSO.

The city commission must approve the changes at a June 3rd meeting.

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