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Sanford, Fl., Hears From Police Chief Candidates After Martin-Zimmerman Episode

January 16, 2013 06:08:00 am

Sanford, Florida's next police chief will face the tough, but important, task of building trust between the city's black residents and its police officers, says the Orlando Sentinel. That was the consensus yesterday among the five candidates hoping to become Sanford's next top cop during a reception and forum at City Hall. "Trust is earned, and you have to work hard to earn that trust," said Kevin Canavan, a deputy chief for the Nassau County, N.Y., police department. "Because once you lose it, it takes so much time and hard work to earn it back."

Along with Canavan, the other candidates vying for the job include: Rafael Hernandez, an investigator with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office; George Markert, director of public integrity for the Rochester, N.Y., police department; Cecil Smith, deputy chief for the Elgin, Il., police department; and Sandra Wilson, deputy chief for the Clearwater, Fl., Police Department. The candidates were selected among a pool of 76 applicants. Sanford's police department long has been plagued by accusations of racism and scandals among its officers. That distrust reached a boiling point last year when black teenager Trayvon Martin was shot to death, and Sanford police did not initially arrest George Zimmerman. The incident led to the firing of chief Bill Lee.

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