Myers, who spoke during a press conference Friday, said he expects to complete an organizational assessment of the department – what he referred to as “an A to Z review.”
“I’m here to study and learn about the department’s culture, build on what’s healthy, and work on what’s not,” he said.
The interim chief also said he will focus on building stronger ties between the police department and the community of Sanford.
“The relationship a police department has with its community is fundamental,” he said.
City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. announced Myers arrival earlier this week, stating he looked at a number of candidates for the position. Bonaparte said he worked with the Police Executive Research Forum, as well as the NAACP and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives to make the decision. Myers was the first to be offered the position.
Myers will step in for former Police Chief Bill Lee, who left the department temporarily after commissioners made a vote of no confidence in him in late March.
Lee was publicly criticized when he did not arrest George Zimmerman following the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Although police initially contended Zimmerman acted in self-defense, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey has since brought 2nd-degree murder charges against him.
Just last week Lee attempted to permanently resign from his position, however commissioners rejected the proposal, stating they wanted to wait for further investigation into the department and the former chief.
Since Lee’s step-down Capt. Darren Scott has filled the position of acting police chief for a more than a month.
Myers said, “Darren Scott served tirelessly in moving the police department forward through challenges few agencies ever see.”
Additionally, Myers said he plans to reach out to Lee, who still remains on administrative leave with pay. Coming to Sanford, Myers said he was warned by many of his friends not to take Lee’s former position.
“Many of my professional colleagues told me to turn and run in the opposite direction,” he said.
Although Myers said he has never dealt with anything like the Trayvon Martin case, he does have experience in crisis management.
Coming from Colorado Springs, Colo., Myers previously headed a police department with more than 600 officers. During his time as police chief in Colorado Springs Myers faced a shrinking budget as well as several tragedies, including the loss of an officer and a major apartment complex fire that killed two people.
During his tenure in the department he also faced several controversies including the arrest of two Colorado Springs officers and an internal investigation into a case involving undercover officers.
Myers retired from the position in October, after the city switched to a form of government with a strong mayor. Myers said Friday his retirement was one of many in city hall when the new form of government and mayor came in.
Before his time in Colorado Springs Myers was the chief of departments in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. Bonaparte said it was Myers experience as a chief that led him to his appointment of the new interim police chief.