By Mary Hladky
Police Chief Dan Alexander is retiring effective Dec. 1 from the department he has led for the past 13 years and will move into the newly created position of director of school police for the Palm Beach County school district.
Alexander effectively will become the second in command at the district police department, reporting to Chief Frank Kitzerow.
School Board members unanimously approved his hiring on Oct. 16.
“It was very exciting to see we are getting another addition to our school police department with the appointment of Dan Alexander from Boca Raton,” said School Board Vice Chair Chuck Shaw. “It reemphasizes the quality of our department that we now have.”
City officials did not say how they would replace Alexander immediately after he announced his retirement and the School Board hired him. City Manager Leif Ahnell will outline the transition plan before Alexander leaves his job, according to city spokeswoman Anne Marie Van Casteren.
Alexander was not granting interviews in mid-October but could do so before he departs, Van Casteren said.
“Chief Alexander has led (our) outstanding police department for 13 years, leading to a low crime rate and consistent outstanding recognition and strong community support,” Mayor Scott Singer said in an email. “I look forward to continuing to work with Chief Alexander in his new role.”
The Boca Raton Police Department has 216 officers and 107 civilian employees. Starting police officer salaries were recently increased to $70,198.
Alexander, who is vested in the city’s executive pension plan, was brought in as police chief in 2006 to right the ship after officers denounced former Police Chief Andrew Scott with a 152-3 vote of no confidence.
The vote came after Scott ordered wealthy developer Greg Talbott released from jail. Police alleged that a drunken Talbott battered his wife, a restaurant manager and an off-duty police officer outside a restaurant.
The police union also complained of other improprieties by Scott, who resigned in 2005.
Alexander’s tenure as police chief marked his second tour of duty with the department. He served as a police captain and later as assistant chief from 1999 to 2002, leaving to become Cape Coral police chief.
His hiring by the school police department comes as it is growing rapidly, largely to meet the requirements of a state law that was enacted after the 2018 massacre of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The law requires armed school safety officers to be assigned to every school.
The department will more than double in size by the end of this school year to have about 280 officers, Kitzerow has said.
Alexander’s responsibilities will include developing and implementing a comprehensive security plan for the school district, developing the department’s budget and coordinating with other government agencies, according to the school district.