Boynton Beach Asst. Police Chief Kelly Harris will serve as interim chief starting Wednesday, Dec. 20, according to a Facebook post on the city police department’s page.
Chief Jeffrey Katz is retiring this month to move to Virginia and lead the Chesterfield County police. His last day is Dec. 20. Katz has been chief for nearly five years and has worked for the department for nearly 20.
Harris is in charge of the Support Services Division and is a 20-year veteran of the department, according to the Facebook post. She is one of three assistant chiefs. Vanessa Snow was hired as assistant chief in 2015 and Joe DeGiulio was promoted to assistant chief in May.
City Manager Lori LaVerriere, who appointed Harris, previously told The Palm Beach Post she wants to open a national search for Katz’s replacement, but will look inside as well. Katz said he thinks Snow would be the best fit and was working with her in hopes she could be his replacement one day.
Katz said if the new chief comes from outside the city he is concerned of a push for the department to become a miniature version of another agency. He said the command staff now is capable of leading the agency.
“I think the best days of this agency are ahead of us and I’ll regret missing those. I also walk away from the agency feeling gratified and fulfilled,” Katz previously told The Post. “I feel like the department is in a better place today than it was 20 years ago when I walked in the door.”