DeLand Launching National Search After Chief Of Police Announces Retirement

By on January 20, 2017 in WNDB News


DeLand, FL – Chief Bill Ridgway has announced that after serving two decades with the DeLand Police Department he will be retiring at the end of April.  Ridgeway rose through the ranks after beginning his career at the age of 21. He was selected chief of police in 2011.

“It has been a privilege to serve the residents of DeLand,” Ridgway said. “I believe I am leaving the agency in a good position for someone else to step into the role.”

“Bill has done a tremendous job for the city and has served us well,” said City Manager Michael Pleus.

The City of DeLand has already begun it’s search for his replacement, contracting with STARS, a recruitment entity created by the Florida Police Chief’s Association.

The STARS program will narrow the search down to 10 candidates, after which a selection committee will develop a list of finalists.  The committee includes Pleus; Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, Ray Almadovar of Stetson Public Safety; Tisi Blakeslee of the Alumni Association; Norton Bonaparte, Sanford City Manager; Althea Chavers of the Spring Hill Boys & Girls Club; Eugene Collier, Concerned Clergy Chair; resident Paula Kelton, Pastor Mike Modica, former city commissioner Charles Paiva and Color Line Roundtable Chair Ted Small.

The selection committee is also seeking input from the community. Anonymous comment cards will be available at the Taste of DeLand event on January 21 and during the Me Strong 5K on January 28. Comment cards will also be available in the first-floor lobby of City Hall through January 31.

Pleus will make a final decision on the city’s next police chief based on a recommendation from the selection committee.

“This may take some time, but we are committed to finding the right person that best fits our community,” Pleus said.


(Photo of Ridgway courtesy

Photo courtesy Kellis and

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017


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