Jeff Goldman has been named Delray's new chief.

Jeff Goldman has been named Delray’s new chief.

Delray Beach has a new police chief.

 Jeff Goldman has been selected Chief and will assume the position September 1.

The position became available upon the retirement announcement of Police Chief Anthony Strianese.  Chief Strianese will be retiring effective August 31, 2014, after twenty-five years of dedicated service.

 Assistant Chief Goldman has served in his current position since 2011.  He is a seasoned and educated law enforcement executive with over twenty-five years of progressive urban policing experience.  Hired by the City in 1989, he rose through the ranks of the command staff and has led several divisions including Community Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Support Services and SWAT.  Assistant Chief Goldman’s diverse experience in these divisions, combined with 2,000+ hours of law enforcement leadership and managerial training/education, have provided him with an extensive working knowledge of current policing techniques in addition to a deep knowledge of the community and the department.

Assistant Chief Goldman attended Florida International University where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.  He also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia Southern University.  In addition, he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police (sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum in conjunction with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University).

Assistant Chief Goldman’s professional affiliations include the FBI National Academy Association, Police Executive Research Forum, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Florida Police Chiefs Association and Palm Beach County Association of Chiefs of Police.  He is also a board member of Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) and is a past president and current member of the Delray Beach Sunrise Kiwanis Club.

 I first met Assistant Chief Goldman during his rookie year at the department. I was a reporter for the Delray Times and covered local government and the police beat. A year or so later, I rode along with Jeff when he was a member of the department’s tactical team.

 Delray Beach was a very different city back in the late 80s and early 90s. The city was swept up in the crack cocaine epidemic and certain neighborhoods in Delray were particularly hard hit. In fact, some were open air drug markets with young kids sitting on milk crates or riding bikes through the streets serving as look outs for drug dealers. The tact team was formed to combat street level drugs and the officers assigned to the team were often thrust into very dangerous situations.

 Back in those days, West Atlantic Avenue just east of the Interstate was marred by shuttered businesses and lots of loitering.
The Delray Beach Police Department had its share of issues in those days, but considerable reform was accomplished in the 90s under the leadership of then Chief Rick Overman, who came from Orlando and ushered in an era of community policing, volunteering, citizen engagement and outreach. The department’s success helped to make it safe for private investment to occur downtown (which now stretches from I-95 to the A1A)  and in neighborhoods once written off. It was a remarkable turnaround that we shouldn’t forget, marked by literally a few thousand volunteers, citizen police academies, lots of dialogue, and strategic investments in not only the neighborhood but in the Police Department itself.

Soon to be chief Goldman is a product of that culture and saw first hand what a strong department working alongside citizens can accomplish.
Here’s hoping we’re entering another golden era. We have challenges galore, but it all begins and ends with people. Put the right ones in place and magic happens.

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