Pick for Top Cop Pulls Out

While Police Cars Get a New Look

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Winter Park’s pick for Top Cop, Dallas Police Department Narcotics Division Deputy Chief Vernon Hale, announced over the weekend that he has withdrawn his name from consideration. This leaves the post open as Brett Railey begins his final week as Chief of Police of the city he has served for nearly 35 years.

The news leaked out during the August 22 Commission meeting. No reason was given for Hale’s change of heart – simply that he “had changed his mind.” In a subsequent interview, Chief Railey told the Voice that the City has a sizeable pool of well-qualified applicants from which to draw, and that he expected a new Chief will be announced soon.

Whoever Railey’s successor turns out to be, he’ll have a big pair of shoes to fill – and some decorating to do.

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Older vs Bolder

Are These the Cars of Arts & Culture?

Previously, during Commissioner reports at the end of the August 8 Commission meeting, Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel reported that she had seen a strange looking police car in a Publix parking lot. While the paint job identified the vehicle, a small SUV, as a Winter Park police car, Sprinkel was taken aback by the new paint job.

It turned out that some of the younger officers had approached Railey with the notion that the old paint job on the police sedans looked a little, well, stodgy. “Too Nineties.” Here is Chief Railey describing what happened when he challenged the officers to come up with a new look.

Once the design was approved by City Manager Randy Knight and senior staff at the police department, all new vehicles were slated to have the new look. Winter Park now boasts eight small SUVs with the new design.

“Not My Favorite,” says Leary

“The police cars are some of our most visible branding devices,” said Mayor Steve Leary. “And I don’t think that paint scheme, that detail, matches anything else we’re doing in the city of Winter Park.” Leary went on to explain that there should be a “more consolidated view” of branding, and directed the City Communications Department to become more involved in the design of the new cars.

Railey responded, “That’s an understandable concern that you may have,” and suggested the Commission direct the City Manager to direct the new Police Chief to change the paint job moving forward.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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