New Sanford police chief officially hired

Cecil Smith accepts Sanford Police Chief position

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SANFORD, Fla. - Sanford Police Department officially has a new police chief, as Cecil E. Smith formally accepted the position on Thursday.

Smith will start his position on April 1 with an annual salary of $114,757, according to Sanford city officials.

City Manager Norton Bonaparte released a statement, saying that he "looks forward to Chief Smith bringing his considerable talents as a seasoned law enforcement leader to the Sanford Police Department and his skill at building positive relations between a police department and the community it serves."

Smith, formerly the Deputy Chief of the Elgin Illinois Police Department, was offered the job last month.

He replaces former 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.

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