Acting Chief of Police Lonnie Scott will permanently lead the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) as former chief Tony Jones transitions to be the city’s special adviser for juvenile justice and community support programs, the City of Gainesville announced Wednesday afternoon.
The city’s announcement said a swearing-in ceremony would come shortly.
In January, Jones switched from chief of police to Gainesville’s chief operating officer on an interim basis, placing Scott into the active chief role. The change came as part of a restructuring process helmed by interim City Manager Cynthia Curry.
At the time, the city planned to keep Jones in the role until a search concluded for a permanent chief operating officer.
Jones, who first joined GPD in 1975, served as assistant city manager in 2005 and took the reins of the police department in 2009. Scott has served in law enforcement for 37 years, including a stint in Tallahassee.
“Chief Scott brings decades of experience in the operational management of a police department, developing a well-trained workforce and ethical police force, and knowledge of violence intervention and prevention,” Curry said.
The new chief operating officer position will remain empty for now. Curry created the position as part of the restructuring that included consolidation of some departments, renaming of Financial Services, and terminating three assistant city manager positions.