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Boynton Beach police chief announces resignation

Michael Gregory has served as chief since July 2018
Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory
Posted at 12:33 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-16 08:44:04-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The chief of the Boynton Beach Police Department is leaving his position later this month after nearly four years on the job.

Police Chief Michael G. Gregory announced Friday he will be leaving the department effective April 22.

Gregory said his decision to resign is the result of wanting to take time to increase attention and focus on other areas of his life. 

"I am very proud of the many accomplishments achieved with the outstanding women and men in the Boynton Beach Police Department during my nearly four-year tenure," Gregory said in a written statement. "I greatly appreciate the opportunity provided to me to lead the department and the leadership of City Manager Lori LaVerriere."

Gregory was sworn in July 9, 2018, as the 30th Boynton Beach police chief.

The city released the following accomplishments during Gregory's tenure:

  • Reducing violent crimes in the Boynton Beach to a 20-year low
  • Building stronger relationships with community partners
  • Building what the city calls the "newest and most state-of-the-art police headquarters in Palm Beach County"
  • Modernizing technology standards
  • Implementing mental health programs and initiatives for employees
  • Increasing the professionalism and accountability of the department
  • Maintaining the department's excelsior status for the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation
Community activist Bryce Graham, speaks about resignation of Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory, April, 15, 2022
Community activist Bryce Graham says residents need to know the motive behind Chief Michael Gregory's departure.

Gregory's departure comes as the city manages the fallout following the death of a Stanley Davis III, a 13-year-old boy who died in December after the Florida Highway Patrol said the boy was driving a dirt bike recklessly while fleeing an attempted traffic stop.

Community activist Bryce Graham, who is a spokesman for the family, questioned the time of his departure.

"In the midst of an internal affairs investigation happening why would he resign?," Graham said. "What is his motive? And so, we are saying that he is not off the hook, he is still to be held accountable for what happened to Stanley Davis III during his tenure as chief of police," he said.

In an earlier interview, Graham told WPTV: "I believe that Stanley Davis III was the catalyst for the change that we need to see in Boynton Beach."

The officer involved in Davis' case was cleared of any charges in a Florida Highway Patrol investigation.

John Kazanjian, the president of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, said Gregory might be leaving due to the Boynton Beach Police Department potentially merging with Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

"Hopefully, that proposal comes back within 30 days, and then we can, the city can start negotiating with the sheriff on how many people are coming over and how many they need," he said.

City commissioners voted 3-1 on April 5 to look into the possibility of merging the police department with the sheriff's office.

John Kazanjian, president of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, speaks about Boynton Beach police chief Michael Gregory leaving, April 15, 2022
"This is the start to where that city police department needs to go," said John Kazanjian about the resignation of Chief Michael Gregory.

"(Gregory's resignation) came out of left field, but I'm not surprised that it had happened," Kazanjian said. "I think it's necessary. ... They need a change and they need to merge with the sheriff's office."

LaVerriere appointed Deputy Chief Vanessa Snow as the interim police chief once Gregory leaves his post.

Mayor Ty Penserga released the following statement after hearing that Gregory will be leaving:

"Earlier this morning, I learned that Chief Michael Gregory has submitted his resignation effective April 22, 2022. Our city is grateful for his years of service and leadership, and we wish him success in all his future endeavors. Deputy Police Chief Vanessa Snow will be serving as Interim Chief. Boynton Beach residents, business owners, and visitors can rest assured that public safety remains our top priority and that our police department will continue to serve with the utmost professionalism and excellence. As Mayor, I will work with our new police chief to ensure that we improve services to better protect our residents, that we support our law enforcement professionals, and that we run an efficient and high performing organization."

Gregory has been candid about his health, which included heart stent surgery in 2020 after doctors discovered a 75 percent blockage in a major artery.