Published On: Mon, Apr 15th, 2019

A Charge to the Chief

C. Ron Allen

Boca Raton, FL – Tears, laughter and fond memories showed the closeness that exists in the Delray Beach Police Department as the force and community said goodbye to one chief and welcomed another in a special ceremony recently.

The officers and community honored their outgoing chief, Jeffrey Goldman, and welcomed the new leader, Javaro Sims, during an unusual change of command ceremony at Atlantic High School auditorium.

It was the first time in the 92-year history of the agency that a formal ceremony, which followed much of the military protocol, was held.

Previous transition ceremonies were more private and pro forma.

Among the highlights was the unveiling of the Chiefs’ flag, which listed each chief in the agency’s history and his tenure.

In his last words as police chief, an emotional Goldman thanked the community for its support as well as his officers and staff for their help.

This event was all the more poignant for some when Goldman radioed into the dispatch center for the last time to go 10-7 (police lingo for out of service).

The dispatcher thanked him for his 30 years of service and bid him Godspeed.

Goldman retired from the position after five years as chief, and three decades in the Delray Beach police department. He will begin a job as head of security for American Express.

Kudos to Detective Paul Pitti who did a remarkable job as an entertaining master of ceremonies. Thumbs up also to interim city manager Neal de Jesus, who praised Goldman as a great leader and friend, and offered Sims some sage advice.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m., Sims affirmed the oath of office, administered by City Clerk Katerri Johnson, as the city’s first African-American police chief and its 16th overall.

In a lean message, he thanked his family and reiterated his vision for the agency to be a model for efficiency, effectiveness, professionalism and collaboration – one community.

Sims had an early opportunity to shape his command: with the changing of the chief came a rolling series of promotions. He promoted Lt. Gene Sapino to assistant chief, Lt. Russ Mager to captain, Sgt. Jeff Rasor to lieutenant and patrolman Hannes Schoeferle to sergeant.

While faces are changing, there will not be large changes in how the department operates or works with the community.

The command staff will support each other and continue to push the department to great accomplishments, said Sims, who has been a strong advocate for community-based policing.

As Sims accepts the torch, I leave with him David’s charge to his son, Solomon, in 1 Kings chapter 2: “Be strong and observe what the lord your god requires. Walk in his ways and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.”

And I know Chief Sims understands that quite well.

C. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@Delraybeachtribune.com or 561-665-0151.

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