Panama City City Manager Mark McQueen announced Thursday that Deputy Chief Mark Smith will serve as the interim Police Chief when current Chief Scott Ervin retires on July 16, 2021.
Smith is a 17-year veteran of the Panama City Police Department. He currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Operations. Smith obtained his Bachelor's degree in 1986 from Florida State University and is currently working on a Master’s degree in Law Enforcement Intelligence.
“Mark Smith was selected because of his breadth of knowledge in law enforcement and his outstanding leadership ability,” said McQueen. “The Mayor, Commissioners and I have the utmost trust and confidence in Mark to lead the Police Department during the search for a permanent selection for Chief of Police.”
Chief Ervin announced last week he will retire this month after a 22-year career with the department. Ervin served as Chief of Police for the past nine years.
“I am excited for the opportunity to build upon the vision and leadership that Chief Ervin has created for the Police Department,” said Smith. “I remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of our citizens, visitors and police officers.”
The naming of an interim chief is the first step in the process for selecting the next Chief of Police for the City. McQueen will now work to outline the selection process and begin accepting applications.
“We are casting a wide net to find the best person to lead the Panama City Police Department,” said McQueen. “We are looking for a Chief who will lead with excellence and continue to provide the highest level of safety and security for our community.”
Chief Ervin will be recognized for his distinguished career of service at the Panama City Commission Meeting on July 13, 2021.