Chief Lonnie Scott is a native Floridian, born and raised in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida where he personally witnessed the impact that violent crime had on his family and community. Chief Scott moved to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida and fell in love with the Gainesville community. Chief Scott graduated from the University of Florida with a major in business finance. He joined the Gainesville Police Department in July of 1985 as a non-certified police officer. Chief Scott’s personal experiences, love of children and the loss of two of his younger siblings to gun violence drive his passion to be in public service. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Command Officers Development Course. Chief Scott is a member of the Florida Police Chief’s Association, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, NOBLE and Black on Black Crime Task Force.
Chief Scott has worked in law enforcement in the state of Florida for over 37 years. Initially serving the citizens of Gainesville for 29 years - rising through the ranks from Police Officer to Police Captain in November of 2007 - before accepting a position with the Tallahassee Police Department as a Police Major in 2014. Chief Scott then went on to serve the City of Tallahassee, Florida for 5 years before returning to his adopted hometown of Gainesville in 2020 as an Assistant Chief at the Gainesville Police Department. Chief Scott served in this position for two years before being appointed as Acting Chief in January of 2022. He has successfully worked in and/or supervised every component of a police agency.
On July 25, 2022 Lonnie Scott was appointed as the permanent Chief of Police for Gainesville.
Chief Scott fully embraces this opportunity to utilize his life experiences, as well as the knowledge, skills, and abilities that he acquired during his career in law enforcement to establish the Gainesville Police Department as the vanguard of contemporary policing. He has a history of utilizing community and business partnerships to identify and address community issues. Chief Scott believes, given the current state of policing and violence in the United States, we must endeavor to eliminate the walls that separate communities from law enforcement agencies. This can only be accomplished in concert with the community, to include schools, religious institutions, families, mental and medical health providers and legislative boards. Working together as one community.
A review of Chief Scott’s work history reflects that he worked extensively in a community policing environment that placed a high value on community partnerships. He has a passion and commitment for community service and is dedicated to protecting those that can’t protect themselves. Chief Scott has a history of working with diverse populations and developing partnerships involving a multitude of citizen groups, organizations and businesses to provide high quality police services with professionalism and dependability.
Chief Scott also works effectively with elected officials, city management and the public to identify and address community needs. He is familiar with the responsibilities of a Police Chief and looks forward to the opportunity to display his leadership abilities. During his career, he has developed effective techniques to strengthen public participation and increase effective communications with various community entities and businesses to improve public safety.
Chief Scott looks forward to working with our neighbors and leveraging his experience and knowledge to continue to improve police services and ensure public safety for all the citizens of Gainesville, Florida.