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<p>Gainesville Chief of Police Lonnie Scott speaks about the K9 unit during the city commission’s special meeting Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022.</p>

Gainesville Chief of Police Lonnie Scott speaks about the K9 unit during the city commission’s special meeting Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022.

Gainesville Police Department Chief Lonnie Scott submitted his letter of resignation to Gainesville City Manager Cynthia Curry Monday, saying he would rather resign than be fired by the city manager.

Scott will resign effective March 29, when he’ll be replaced by assistant chief Nelson Moya. A nationwide search for a permanent replacement will be conducted, according to a memo by the city manager.

Last Friday, Curry informed Scott she intends on terminating his employment with GPD. She gave Scott the option to submit a letter of resignation in lieu of immediate termination, according to the resignation letter.

“I have decided it is time to move the Gainesville Police Department in a different direction,” Curry said in a memo to Gainesville Mayor Harvey Ward.

Curry later clarified in a statement she believes GPD needs improvement in employee morale and staffing levels, among other issues.  

“These challenges are not unique to GPD. However, my level of confidence in his ability at this point in time is not sufficient to allow him to continue in this role. The evolution and growth of this agency, which is critical to the safety of our community, requires change in the form of fresh perspective and new leadership,” Curry said.

In his resignation letter, chief Scott highlighted various achievements from his time in office. He touted efforts to reduce gun violence, improve departmental communication and reduce the attrition rate, which he believes will “bear fruit in the near future.”

“I remain unclear as to why you believe this is necessary. I recognize, however, that as an at-will employee that the decision is yours,” Scott said in his resignation letter.

Scott joined GPD in 1985 and spent 40 years rising through the ranks, eventually becoming assistant chief in 2020. In July 2022, Scott was promoted to the chief of police position.

“Over the years, Chief Scott has embraced community policing and placed a high value on forging partnerships,” Curry said in a memo to the mayor. “We are grateful to Chief Scott for his years of service to the people of Gainesville and wish him the best in all future endeavors.”

Contact Daniel Bednar at Follow him on X @Danielbednar5.

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Daniel Bednar

Daniel Bednar is a first-year political science major and the Criminal Justice reporter for The Alligator. When he's not writing, you can find him scuba diving in the Keys or flying airplanes. 

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