Meet St. Pete’s new police chief

ST. PETERSBURG – The current chief of police for the City of Clearwater has been named by Mayor Rick Kriseman to lead the St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD).

“I am pleased have Chief Holloway leading the St. Petersburg Police Department. The men and women of the SPPD will come to know a strong leader in Chief Holloway. I look forward to working with Chief Holloway as he helps make the St. Petersburg Police Department the envy of the law enforcement community around the world,” said Mayor Kriseman.

Chief Holloway joined the Clearwater Police Department in 1985 as a patrol officer. During his career with the Clearwater Police Department, he served as a Patrol Officer, a Community Policing Specialist, an undercover Vice & Narcotics Detective, a Patrol Sergeant, a Detective Sergeant (Economic Crimes Unit), the Support Services Assistant Division Commander, and the Patrol Division Commander.

“My pledge to this community is to establish a good working relationship with citizens and community leaders from south St. Pete to Tyrone to Gandy, and everywhere in between. I’m going to park my car, walk the neighborhoods, and talk to you. My pledge to the policing professionals of this great department is that I will meet and talk to every single one of you, as well. I am looking forward to working with the outstanding men and women of the St.  Petersburg Police Department,” said Chief Holloway.

During his time as Chief at the Clearwater Police Department he learned how to be a team not only within the department but within the community as well. They knew they couldn’t solve all the problems themselves so they formed great partnerships with other organizations and leaders throughout the city to work with them to reduce crime and the fear of crime.

“If we work together to have a safe place to live, work and play, we can drive out that fear,” said Chief Holloway.

From 2007 to 2010, Chief Holloway served as Chief of Police in Somerville, Massachusetts. The City of Somerville, near Boston, is home to immigrants from all over the world making it one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation.

“In Somerville,” said Chief Holloway, “I learned you have to make contact with the 95 percent of the population who were law abiding citizens, who we weren’t going to arrest. Getting to know the community is a crime prevention as well as a community relations tool. When a cop comes to your neighborhood, you should come out to talk about how things are going there.”

Since becoming Chief of the Clearwater Police Department, that city has seen a reduction in crime, which, as Holloway said, “has reduced the fear of crime in different communities, and that’s just as important.”

Chief Holloway was born in Sulphur Springs, raised in Tampa, where he graduated from Hillsborough High School. While serving as a sergeant in the Clearwater Police Department, he attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management in 1999. He received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 2001.

Chief Holloway discusses his family life by telling a story about his time as a Clearwater Police Sergeant. During a fight involving more than thirty people, Sergeant Holloway lost his wedding band. However, because of the trust and respect he had built in that community, within 24 hours, the ring was turned in to the police substation. “That’s what it means to earn the trust of the community,” said Holloway. He is married to Andra Dreyfus, an attorney in Clearwater.

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