BELLEAIR — Police Chief Rick Doyle will swear in two new police officers — one of which will be the town’s new patrol operations lieutenant — at the Dec. 1 Town Commission meeting.

“We will swear in two new officers, the first of which is Lt. Randy Chaney, who retired after 33 years with the Largo Police Department,” Doyle told Tampa Bay Newspapers. “He has done everything from patrol to SWAT to every division in Largo, from homicide, robbery.”

The second officer is Miranda Wincek, who Doyle recruited from the Pinellas County Schools Police. Prior to that, Wincek was with the Clearwater Police Department, Doyle said.

As patrol operations lieutenant, Chaney will help with training and revamping of policy and procedures. He will serve alongside Lt. Brian Beery, who is in charge of the administrative and criminal investigations division. 

According to Doyle, the department has one detective and about 18 full- and part-time officers with a wide range of law enforcement experience. The department also has an executive secretary, an administrative assistant, and a part-time clerk.

Saltmarsh wins contract extension

The commission also agreed to continue using its present auditor to oversee the finances, operations, and regulatory compliance of the town’s activities.

At its Nov. 17 regular meeting, the Town Commission approved a $30,000 annual contract for Tampa-based Saltmarsh, which will audit the financial statements of the governmental activities, the business-type activities, each major fund, the budgetary comparisons for the general fund … which collectively comprise the town's basic financial statements.”

The firm has been the town auditor since at least 2019.

In other news, the town commission approved:

• Requiring town residents to pay the credit card processing fees when paying for town services after Jan. 1. The onset of COVID-19 moved the town to urge residents to pay with bank cards, to go touch-less, meaning no cash. In exchange, the town agreed to pay those fees for cardholders. The move will affect 273 customers who pay for building permits, utility fees, and other town services with credit or debit cards, Stefan Massol, Belleair’s director of support services told the commission.

• A request by the Belleair Community Foundation to put holiday tree lighting, snowflake lights, holiday card signs and other decorations to spruce up Doyle and Wall parks for the holidays. The decorations won’t cost the town; however, some staff would be needed to find electrical locations and safety.

• Christmas in the Park, also sponsored by the BCF, set for Sunday, Dec. 20, at Doyle & Wall parks from 5 to 8 p.m. Described as a Christmas get together with free food, drinks, and hot chocolate. Social distancing guidelines will be followed and masks provided, BCF said. It will require police presence to close Rosery Road between Doyle and Wall parks.

• Sunday, Dec. 6, for the 2020 holiday parade. The parade is expected to draw 400 spectators. The staging area for the parade is near Biltmore Construction, 1075 Ponce de Leon Blvd.; parade participants will meet at Public Works by 4:30 for check-in and placement. The parade will proceed down Pone De Leon Boulevard, take a right at Indian Rocks Road, then left down The Mall, and left again on Ponce de Leon. It will end and dismantle at the parking lot at Brewster Field.