New Sanford police chief sworn in

Former chief Bill Lee fired in wake of Trayvon Martin investigation

Published On: Apr 01 2013 08:30:15 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 01 2013 07:20:51 PM EDT
Cecil Smith
SANFORD, Fla. -

The Sanford Police Department's new chief was officially sworn in on Monday.

Cecil E. Smith, who formally accepted the position in February, was sworn in during a morning ceremony with his family by his side.

"I try to be a realist, it takes time to get to the top," Smith said.

Smith will make an annual salary of $114,757, according to Sanford city officials.

Smith, formerly the Deputy Chief of the Elgin, Illinois Police Department, was offered the job in January.

He replaces former Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, who was fired in June 2012 after drawing criticism for his department's actions in the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation in February 2012.

Martin's parents criticized the agency for not arresting neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman immediately after the shooting death of their son.

Zimmerman wasn't arrested until 44 days after Martin's death last February.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense.

Zimmerman's murder trial is scheduled to begin in June.

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