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Pinellas picks new schools police chief, special ed director

By Colleen Wright
Published: February 8, 2018 Updated: February 8, 2018 at 12:47 PM
Assistant Chief Luke Williams, center, looks on as St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway speaks about Williams during a retiring ceremony for Williams on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 in St. Petersburg. After a 32 year career, all with St. Petersburg police, Williams has been named the Chief of Schools Police for Pinellas County Schools. His appointment is expected to be approved at a School Board meeting Tuesday.CHRIS URSO | Times

Luke Williams said he wanted to spend his retirement guiding young minority men to success. Now, he may have the opportunity to help thousands of them.

The Pinellas County school district has appointed Williams, 54, as the next Chief of Schools Police. If approved at Tuesday's School Board meeting, Williams will begin his job March 1.

Like his predecessor Rick Stelljes, whose retirement as school police chief is effective Feb. 28, Williams enjoyed a decades-long career with the St. Petersburg Police Department. He spent 32 years as a patrol officer, detective, sergeant, major, assistant chief of police and finally the assistant chief of police with the uniform services bureau without a single ding on his personnel file before he retired Jan. 26.

Williams would oversee an in-house police staff of about 20 in addition to contracted school resource officers and deputies from municipalities and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The district advertised the position for four weeks and 42 applicants applied. Of those, two were interviewed.

Evelyn L. Mowatt, an assistant principal at Osceola Fundamental High School, has been named the new executive director of exceptional student education. Her predecessor, Sherry Aemisegger, was reassigned as a human resources director effective Jan. 8.

If approved Tuesday, Mowatt's job will begin her new role April 2.