Chief David H. DeKay Biography
Chief David H. DeKay joined the St. Petersburg Police Department in 1982. He graduated from Pinellas Police Academy #74 and was initially assigned to Patrol. He became a Field Training Officer and was later assigned to the Computer Projects Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in October of 1990. As a sergeant, he returned to the Field Training Unit. He also became a Hostage Negotiator as well as a long term acting Lieutenant.
From 1994 to 1999, he was the Special Events Coordinator. While in Special Events, he developed and implemented a computer data-based system to track nearly 9,000 off duty assignments costing more that $1.4 Million. He also helped plan and implement several VIP visits, including visits from First Lady Hillary Clinton (twice), Presidential Candidate Bob Dole, "Drug Czar" Dr. Lee Brown, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and others. These visits involved extensive coordination with other law enforcement agencies. As a sergeant, he also acted as overall coordinator for the Vice Presidential Debates in 1996 at the Bayfront Center and Mahaffey Theatre. This major event required extensive planning and coordination with other law enforcement agencies.
Event planning activities included law enforcement support and organized contract services to the Florida Grand Prix during its' revised route around the ThunderDome (now Tropicana Field). He also provided law enforcement support and organized police services and traffic control for the First and Seconds Rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, the "Sweet Sixteen" NCAA tournament, and the "Final Four" NCAA tournament in 1999.
Finally, he worked extensively with the newly-renovated Tropicana Field to organize and implement police security and traffic control during the inaugural and second season of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. This planning also involved the extensive ancillary activities within the city related to the implementation of a major sports franchise.
In October of 1999, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. In 2000, he was promoted to Major and was assigned as Commander of District III.
In April of 2002, he was promoted to Assistant Chief and was assigned to the Uniform Services Bureau. The assignment includes membership on the Hiring Board and Promotional Process team. In August of 2006, he was assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau. In January of 2014, he was appointed to be Interim Chief of Police during the search for the successor to retired Chief Charles “Chuck” Harmon.
Chief DeKay has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan) and has attended the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) in Boston. In addition to being awarded Best Marksman of the SWAT School, he was nominated for both the Officer of the Year and Ned March awards.
He has been married to his wife Joan for over 40 years and has a son who is currently a deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.