MOUNT DORA, Fla. – The city of Mount Dora officially announced the appointment of its new police chief on Monday.
Interim Police Chief Brett Meade has been named as the new police chief for the city, according to a news release.
Interim City Manager Charles Revell appointed Meade on Friday, according to the release. Meade began serving as interim chief in July 2020, after it was announced that former Chief Robert Bell would be retiring in August.
Meade is the third new chief for the Mount Dora Police Department in three years after a string of issues within the police department.
In 2019, Mount Dora police Chief John O’Grady was relieved of duty after he was supposed to present an award to the couple who owns Las Palmas restaurant. Since a medical emergency kept the couple from attending, the chief allowed a Hispanic officer to accept the award on their behalf.
He reportedly said the officer should accept the award by saying, “Here, come take this, these are your people.”
The officer replied by saying she’s Puerto Rican and O’Grady said, “same thing,” according to the report. The officer described the situation in a hostile work complaint as offensive and humiliating.
Bell, who had been serving as deputy chief, took over for O’Grady, but Bell soon faced issues of concern including questions about personnel and policies raised by members of the police department.
Meade has served in law enforcement agencies throughout Central Florida starting with DeLand police in 1982, according to Mount Dora. He has also served in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Central Florida police.
According to the release, Meade is also considered an expert in domestic terrorism, specializing in the sovereign citizen movement.
“Serving the citizens of Mount Dora as the Chief of Police is truly an opportunity of a lifetime. Mount Dora is an incredible community and it is an honor to lead a police department staffed with dedicated and committed personnel intently focused on providing a safe environment for our community,” Meade said in a statement. “As we move forward, I ask that everyone assists the Mount Dora Police Department in achieving our agency priorities by getting involved, as our goal is to be the premiere law enforcement agency in Central Florida, and we will achieve this distinction by dedicated and trusted community partnerships.”