The community has the opportunity to get to know the four candidates in the running for Chief of Police for the Plant City Police Department. A meet-and-greet will be held at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center this evening.
The public is invited to spend some time chatting with the four final candidates in the city’s search for the new PCPD Chief.
The community “Meet & Greet” session will be held at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight. This will act as part of the screening process for the four candidates. Anyone who wishes to come will have to comply with a COVID-19 screening and follow the precautions in place, including temperature checks, mask wearing, and social distancing.
Its a drop-in style event, which aims to reduce the number of people there at any point in time. To participate, simply arrive during the allotted two-hour window, go through the COVID-19 screening and then walk toward the candidate of your choice. They will be staged in separate corners of the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center gymnasium.
The City of Plant City will screen the candidates from Nov. 18-20 via a series of interviews and exercises.
Meet the Candidates:
James Bradford: Formerly a colonel with Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. A native of New Jersey, Bradford received his law enforcement certification through the Tampa Police Academy in 1989. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology. Bradford started his career in patrol and then had a variety of detective assignments in areas including burglary, robbery, homicide and intelligence. He also “was on the transition team to bring child protective investigations on a contract basis from the Florida Department of Children and Families to the Sheriff’s Office,” according to HCSO.
Joe Halman, Jr.: Formerly Chief of Law Enforcement with Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Halman is a name most in Polk County recognize. Hired as a deputy by then-Sheriff Dan Daniels, he worked his way up the ranks from deputy to detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major and chief of law enforcement before finally becoming the professional development director for PCSO. Halman then stepped away from law enforcement and was selected to be Polk County’s deputy county manager for public safety. He was the first black PCSO major and chief, as well as the first black deputy county manager. He has a Master of Arts from Southeastern, a Bachelor of Arts from Warner Southern and an Associate of Arts from Saint Leo University.
Kevin McGinley: Chief Deputy, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. McGinley has more than 28 yeas of law enforcement experience, including four years in the United States Air Force as a Security Police Specialist. Under OCSO McGinley has worked in Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Training, Community Response, and Internal Affairs as a deputy and sergeant. When promoted to lieutenant and later captain and major, he oversaw the Special Operations Division, Criminal Investigations Division and Training Unit. He has served on the OCSO SWAT since 1996. He has a bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Columbia College and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from The University of Central Florida.
Elias “Eli” Vazquez: Formerly Assistant Chief of Police, Tampa Police Department. Vazquez has has been with TPD since 1994 and has been in law enforcement since 1988. Before joining the team at TPD he was in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and then spent six years as an officer in Garden Grove and with the Seminole Tribe of Florida Police Department. He has worked in all three districts and spent the first part of his career as an undercover officer, detective, and sergeant working in the Narcotics Bureau. He has also served as the Special Operations Division Captain in charge of the Motor Unit, Marine Patrol, Mounted Patrol, Air Service, DUI Unit, Traffic Homicide Unit, SWAT & hostage negotiation teams and the Special Incident Management Unit. He was also the TPD Hispanic Liaison. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo.