MARCO ISLAND, Fla. — Tracy Frazzano was the last woman standing when the City of Marco Island finished its search for a new chief of police.
"It was excitement - just a mix of feelings because it's like a dream come true," Frazzano said by phone Wednesday.
Frazzano has spent the past 24 years with the Montclair Police Department in New Jersey, and has been the deputy chief there since 2016. She also graduated with distinction from the FBI National Academy.
Marco Islander Laura Owen said she's impressed with Frazzano's credentials.
"Policing on an island is obviously going to be very different for her, but I think this will be an excellent choice for us," Owen said.
Owen was also a supporter of keeping former chief Al Schettino on the job. Schettino was forced into retirement after a series of embarrassing situations involving some of his officers, including revelations that some of them had sex with a woman while they were on duty.
Then a police records clerk accused department leaders of harrassment and discrimination.
"We've spent a lot of years with a department that has had its ups and downs," Owen said.
"My goal is to make the police department and the community the best place to be," Frazzano said. "I'm hoping to achieve that by creating a team atmosphere."
Islander Litha Berger hopes the city's first female police chief will help the department move beyond the problems of the past.
"I think a woman can handle this job nicely," Berger said. "It's very different from anything we've had in the past, and I think it's a welcome addition."
Frazzano said she was already familiar with the area, since she and her husband have a home in Naples. She's expected to start her new job in late August.