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Rex Troche takes over as Sarasota Chief of Police

Police officer in uniform and wearing glasses hands a blue bag to a young boy in a plaid shirt.
City of Sarasota
Rex Troche, who has served as the city of Sarasota's interim police chief since August, has been installed as the permanent chief.

Rex Troche, a member of the Sarasota Police Department since 2002, has served as interim chief since August 2021.

Rex Troche, who has served as the city of Sarasota's interim police chief since August, has been installed as the permanent chief.

The Sarasota Police Department announced Thursday that Troche will become the city's 13th police chief — and its first Hispanic chief.

"Interim Chief Troche has essentially been interviewing for the job every day for the past eight months, and during that time, as well as throughout his career with our organization, he has demonstrated he possesses the qualities of the kind of chief our community needs and desires," Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown said in a press release.

"It's my pleasure to appoint someone who has risen through the ranks of our organization to this position, and I know he will do an excellent job representing Sarasota."

Rex Troche head shot
City of Sarasota
Rex Troche joined the Sarasota Police Department in 2002

Troche joined the Sarasota Police Department in 2002 and served in various divisions before being promoted to sergeant in 2013, lieutenant in 2017, and captain in 2020.

He replaces James Rieser, who stepped down after seven months, citing health reasons.

"I am honored and humbled to lead the dedicated men and women of the Sarasota Police Department," Troche said in the release. "I will continue to promote our community policing initiatives, focus on reducing gun violence and increase the visibility of our officers in the city.

"I'm excited to move our agency forward by hiring the best and brightest officers who will reflect our community. I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to build trust, transparency, and lasting relationships with the citizens of the City of Sarasota."

Prior to Troche's appointment, the city held a listening tour and consulted a survey — which included community organizations, advisory boards and elected officials — on the most important qualities they would like to see in their next police chief.

The top responses were valued leadership skills within the department (23%) followed by professional management skills (19%).

"Chief Troche understands that in times of crisis, we aren't judged solely by how many crimes are brought to justice — we are also judged by our commitment to this great city and the constitution that we've sworn to defend and to the values that we've pledged to protect," Sarasota Mayor Erik Arroyo said in the release.

"This is why, as we continue to promote from within, our city presently boasts a record low in most crime statistics.

"Rex Troche's impressive record of leadership, professionalism and community involvement are a great asset to the department and to our citizens. We are truly blessed to have a servant of his caliber among us."

Troche earned a master's degree in emergency management from Saint Leo University. He has been married for 23 years and has three daughters.

Troche will be sworn in during a ceremony Friday at Sarasota Police Headquarters.

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