Betty Holland has taken over the role of Kissimmee Chief of Police, Kissimmee City Manager Mike Steigerwald announced on Friday. Chief Holland began her term on Saturday, April 29, and will be sworn as the 29th Police Chief of the City of Kissimmee during the next city commission meeting on Tuesday, May 2 .

“I’m pleased to welcome Betty Holland as our next Chief of Police, one of the City’s most critical leadership positions,” said Steigerwald. “Her 35 years of law enforcement experience, including the past 5 years as a key member of Chief O’Dell’s leadership team, have well positioned her to take our police department to the next level. Given the growth of our police force in recent years, I am especially excited about Chief Holland’s ideas for the continued development of our police force. I believe her prior experience leading the Polk County Sheriff’s training academy will be of great benefit in preparing future leaders within our agency.”

Chief Holland has worked at the City of Kissimmee Police Department  since March 2018 where she was hired as Deputy Chief. Before that, she worked at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for 30 years, where she began as a civilian and rose through the ranks.

She has experience in nearly every major facet of law enforcement including telecommunications, uniform patrol, criminal investigations, strategic investigations, school resource officer, intelligence, special operations, and training.

O’Dell was appointed in 2016 as KPD Chief after serving as Deputy Chief in 2016. He will move into an office at Kissimmee City Hall as Kissimmee’s assistant city manager overseeing public safety and internal security before transitioning to an eventual retirement.

The murders of Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter were certainly the most challenging memories of Jeff O’Dell’s administration, but his department never let the senseless tragedy “fade away” from the community’s focus, including organizing an escort for Baxter’s youngest child’s first day of school at Lake Nona Elementary.

Chief Holland has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Troy University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Professional Leadership from Southeastern University, and is a graduate of both the Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course from the University of Louisville and the Certified Public Manager Program from Florida State University.

“I want to thank City of Kissimmee Manager Mike Steigerwald and his staff along with Chief Jeff O’Dell for giving me this opportunity. It is my honor and privilege to be selected as the new Police Chief,” Chief Holland said. “It is my vision to always improve the agency and all of its members by continuing to build an environment that allows everyone to reach their full potential while still obtaining the goals of the city and the Police Department. I am excited to continue the legacy left by Chief O’Dell and I am looking forward to what the future brings to the Kissimmee Police Department, City of Kissimmee and the community.”