Norman Botsford was sworn in as Gainesville’s Police Chief at a formal ceremony conducted by United States District Judge Stephan Mickle on November 1, 1999.
Chief Botsford served as Chief of the Columbia, Missouri Police Department for two years. Prior to his service in Columbia, he had a career of over 30 years in Florida law enforcement. He served with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department from 1966 until 1993, beginning as a Patrol Officer and working through the ranks to his final position of Interim Chief of Police. From 1993 to 1997, he served as Colonel and Director of Law Enforcement Services for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
Chief Botsford received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida Atlantic University. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Advanced Administrative Officers Course of the Southern Police Institute. He is a licensed personal fitness trainer. He currently serves on the IACP National Committee on Community Policing and is an active member of the Florida Police Chief’s Association. In 2007, Governor Charlie Crist appointed Chief Botsford to the Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council.
At Chief’s Botsford direction, the Gainesville Police Department has initiated, continued and expanded a number of programs to make citizens safer and to reduce crime in Gainesville. These programs include: District Policing, DataTrac, an Intelligence Center, a new Records Management and Field Reporting System, Citizen Policing, the Black on Black Crime Task Force, the Reichert House, Domestic Violence Unit, Computer Crimes Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit, Citizen Police Academy, Comprehensive Drug Plan, Sex Offender/Predator Unit, P2C - Police to Citizen Website and the main GPD website. The Gainesville Police Department is also a member of the Youth Violence Task Force and several regional, state and national data-sharing programs.
Before his retirement, Chief Botsford headed a new GPD building project, allowing the agency to reach a higher level of service. A new administration building was completed in October 2007.