David Alexander

Bob Barrett / WUWFNews

A program that pairs children in need with mentors just got a nice financial boost. “When I saw this, Bigs with Badges, I thought that goes to the heart of what we do,” said Maggie Williams, the public relations director at Wind Creek Hospitality. Wind Creek just made a $10,000 donation to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northwest Florida and their Bigs with Badges program.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The phrase “Arrive Alive” once adorned Florida highway signs and souvenir license plates. The Florida Highway Patrol is introducing a new incarnation of that message.

At issue is a 20 percent increase in fatal crashes since 2014. FHP reports a jump in the state’s traffic deaths in 2016 with more than 3,000 fatalities. That’s the deadliest year since 2007. Through January 30 of this year, there have already been 143 traffic fatalities.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

  Since 1889, 14 members of the Pensacola Police Force have died in the line of duty. Wednesday morning, the city took time to remember their service.

Pensacola Police Department

When it meets in regular session Thursday evening, the Pensacola City Council is expected to approve the promotion of David Alexander to Chief of Police.

Chip Simmons is retiring next month after 29 years in the department, the last five as Chief. In that post, he’s overseen significant reductions in crime year-over-year, and the lowest crime rate on record. The PPD also became the first in the Panhandle to equip officers with body cameras: ten of them to start.

The Pensacola Police Department has a new second-in-command.  David Alexander, III was promoted from captain to Assistant Chief, becoming the first African-American to be named to the post, since it was created in 1994.

Family and friends filled a large room at police headquarters on Thursday for a ‘badge pinning ceremony’ in honor of new Assistant Chief Alexander, and also to acknowledge Tommi Lyter’s advancement from Lieutenant to Captain.