Sanford Mayor: City Moving Ahead After Tough 2012
December 26, 2012 | WMFE- The city of Sanford found itself thrust into the national media spotlight in 2012 as public outrage flared after neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February. Mayor Jeff Triplett says he believes the city is on the right path after learning some tough lessons in the wake of the shooting.
The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin focused attention on Florida’s Stand Your Ground self defense law, and the Sanford Police chief Bill Lee eventually lost his job following criticism of the initial investigation into the shooting.
Mayor Jeff Triplett says it was difficult leading the city through the crisis.
“I don’t think anybody could have expected what transpired in the city of Sanford, but I think with a lot of work and a lot of effort we made it through," says Triplett.
"We learned a lot of lessons. We’ve put a lot of stuff into place to go into the future with the relationship between our community and city hall and the police department.”
A Blue Ribbon panel of 25 community leaders from Sanford is examining how the city’s police department can improve its relationship with the community. The panel’s due to report back in about six months.
Meanwhile Jeff Triplett says the city aims to interview the top candidates for the role of police chief early in the New Year. He says a new police chief should be appointed by March.