New Punta Gorda police chief starts today

Chief Pamela R. Davis will take over the Punta Gorda Police Department Tuesday.

Davis, who will be the first woman to lead the Punta Gorda Police Department, will replace former police chief Tom Lewis.

Lewis was acquitted of culpable negligence in the August 2016 death of retired librarian Mary Knowlton, who was gunned down by former officer Lee Coel during a “shoot-don’t shoot” citizens academy training exercise.

During Davis’ first 30 to 90 days she plans to assess the entire department, from leadership to policies, training and focusing on community policing.

Chief Pamela R. Davis

In an effort to improve the department’s image, Davis plans to establish a citizens chief advisory council so the community has more access to the chief.

“I want those officers out there in those community meetings,” Davis said. “I think it’s important that the communities know the names of the officers who are actually out patrolling the areas.”

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