West Palm Beach has a new police chief.
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Jeri Muoio named Assistant Police Chief Bryan Kummerlen as the city's next police chief, pending city commissioners' ratification later this month.
Kummerlen, a 26-year veteran on the force, had been serving as West Palm Beach Police interim chief since Vincent Demasi retired earlier this year.
Kummerlen had served as an assistant chief for three years.
Kummerlen replaced Demasi after the former chief abruptly resigned in May. Demasi had served as West Palm Beach Police chief since 2012 after being hired away from a Cincinnati police department.
At the time of Demasi's departure, Mayor Muoio expressed her surprise and said she had hoped he would've stayed on as chief for another ten or 15 years.
"This is not something I asked for, not something I wished for, not something I want," she said during a commission hearing following Demasi's resignation. "He has done an amazing job as chief. I believe he has enjoyed working here."
Muoio also announced at that meeting that her intention was to promote from within, which is what she's doing with Kummerlen.
Kummerlen has served in varying capacities with the West Palm Beach Police over the years, including traffic homicide, road patrol sergeant, community policing lieutenant, and motor patrol.
The new chief has a master's degree in public administration from FAU as well as a bachelor's degree from FSU. Kummerlen is also a graduate of Harvard University Senior Management Institute.
During her announcement this morning, Muoio said Kummerlen was key in establishing new strategic plans that have brought the department positive changes.
"Right now, the best thing to keep the department moving in the right direction is consistency and stability," Muoio said. "Bryan was the chief architect of the police department's new strategic plan, and he was responsible for implementing many of the positive changes that have taken place in that department over the past two years."
The appointment has to be ratified by the full City Commission, which will gather on May 27.
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