With over 30 years of law enforcement experience, Melanie Bevan became the Chief of the Bradenton Police Department in 2016. The department has a combined sworn and civilian strength of 175 personnel, serving a community of approximately 57,000 citizens. Prior to this, she served the St. Petersburg Police Department for 29 years, retiring at the rank of Assistant Chief. Since arriving in Bradenton, she has introduced a host of safety-measures, community engagement protocols, and leadership training which illustrate her macro-level orientation, community centricity, and commitment to being a strong advocate for newer and better ways of policing and leadership development.
Chief Bevan earned her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University in 1997, her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Troy State University in 2001, and her Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University in 2011. She is an adjunct professor in the Homeland Security Program for the State College of Florida. She also performs contract work for the Office of the Commissioner for Major League Baseball, and serves as a Consultant in the field of officer safety and wellness for the VALOR program, and police executive development.
She is a 2005 graduate of the 219th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. In 2012, Chief Bevan was one of 13 law enforcement leaders nationwide chosen to attend the Anti-Defamation League National Counter Terrorism Seminar for Police Executives held in Israel. In 2013, she completed the four-week Cohort of the Naval Postgraduate Center for Homeland Security and Defense, Homeland Security Executive Leaders Program in Monterey, California. She is a 2018 graduate of the 77th Session of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS).
Chief Bevan is a member of the International Leadership Association “for those who practice, study and teach leadership”; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; and serves as the District One Director for the Florida Police Chiefs Association. She has been involved as a Mentor for Take Stock in Children of Pinellas/Manatee for 18 years. Chief Bevan was the recipient of the 2018 Women’s Resource Center’s Manatee Wonder Woman Award. Most recently, she was appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to the Criminal Punishment Code Task Force, and to the Leadership Florida 2019-2020 Cornerstone Class 38.