Cocoa Police Interim Chief John Hankins to Retire After Three Decades of Public Service
By Cocoa Police Department // April 27, 2021
Evander Collier IV of Jacksonville to serve as the next Chief of Police
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – Cocoa Police Chief John Hankins, appointed interim chief in December, will officially retire after more than 30-years of service to the citizens of Cocoa. Chief Hankins’ last day will be on Friday, April 30.
Chief Hankins was born and raised in Cocoa and graduated with Cocoa High School’s Class of 1984.
He joined the U.S. Navy shortly after graduating high school and proudly served our nation from 1985-1991.
After returning home, he joined the Cocoa Police Department in January 1991. He excelled in the law enforcement profession and successfully worked his way through the ranks, serving in leadership roles for more than 24 years.
Throughout his career, he served in nearly all aspects of the department’s operations including field training, traffic homicide investigator, SWAT, crisis negotiations, instructor, detective, corporal, supervisor, special investigations, training coordinator, accreditation manager, tactical flight officer, professional compliance supervisor, and internal affairs.
Prior to being appointed interim chief, Chief Hankins served as operations commander where he was responsible for providing executive management to all uniform service-related aspects of the department including patrol operations, SWAT and Crisis Negotiations Team, K-9, marine, traffic/motors, and community resources.
WATCH: Interim Cocoa Police Chief John Hankins administered the oath of office to five new police officers earlier this year. The officers were sworn in during a special ceremony in the presence of family and friends, members of the police department staff, members of the Cocoa City Council, and city leadership.
He also holds the distinction of being one of the first Department of Defense certified SWAT tactical medics in Brevard County. As commander, Hankins also managed the oversight of the Support Services Division and the department’s annual budget.
Among his most noteworthy accomplishments was leading the agency’s first accreditation in 2006, rewriting each of the agency’s policies to bring them into compliance.
The accreditation process made the Cocoa Police Department among the most professional law enforcement agencies in the State of Florida, complying with more than 250 professional standards to ensure accountability, transparency and the highest professional conduct for police officers and staff.
Chief Hankins has a passion for history and developed the department’s historical summary. He also created the agency’s unsolved homicide database which is now part of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s statewide database highlighting unsolved cases.
“It has been such an honor to serve alongside Interim Chief Hankins,” said Mayor Mike Blake.
“His dedication and commitment to the citizens of Cocoa for the last thirty years is unparalleled. He has left a lasting impression on our community that will be felt for many years to come.”
Chief Hankins holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida and is a graduate of the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute’s Command Officer’s Development Course.
He plans to stay in Brevard County with his wife and family and plans to enjoy working on household projects, and other hobbies.
Evander Collier IV of Jacksonville, Florida has been selected to serve the residents of Cocoa as the next Chief of Police and will assume his new duties on May 1.
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