New St. Pete Police chief, Anthony Holloway, sworn in

Community looking to lower the crime rate

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - With every back to school haircut, Troy Jones sees an opportunity to reach a child.

"When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, we hope that you go do good," Jones said to a youngster getting a cut.

Jones owns a barbershop in South St. Pete, but he's also trying to make difference with a character building program for young people he started called "Operation Hero."

"We need leadership, we need mentors, these kids need someone to look up," he said.

Jones hopes some of that leadership will come from the city's new police chief, Anthony Holloway.

"There's a lack of respect and we need to build that respect back up again," said Jones.

The former Clearwater chief is known for his park, walk talk method of community policing where officers are on the street getting to know residents.

Holloway said he'll spend the next hundred days mapping out the most effective plan for policing the city.

"We are going to take a look at the citizens, talking to the officers.  We are going to figure out what exactly do we need to do to make this place a better place to live work and play," said Holloway.

Wengay Newton, council member, said his constituents seem happy with Holloway as the chief, and they are optimistic things will improve when it comes to relations with the African-American community.

"There's been a lot of lip service, as the law is enforced throughout the city.  It's not always the same," said Newton.

Holloway wasn't among the finalists for the position and his selection came as a surprise to many. But the mayor says he's the perfect choice.

"He believes in being out there on the streets with the officers, so he's a cop's cop. But he's also a member of the community," said Mayor Rick Kriseman.

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