I always wanted to be a police officer. Even as a young boy. For over 26 years I proudly served the citizens of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which is often referred to as “The Venice of America.” In the mid-1970s, as a member of my department’s new and elite Tactical Impact Unit, my partner and I were twice named Police Officers of the Year. I was able to rise through the ranks and I eventually became a Captain, plus I also earned a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice. I retired from Fort Lauderdale P.D. in 1993.
After I left Fort Lauderdale P.D. I went to work at the Florida Department of Insurance / Division of Insurance Fraud (D.I.F.), in Tallahassee. I was also a Captain there too. Initially, I was their Inspector and I investigated internal affairs type cases involving misconduct and/or possible corruption. Then, I eventually became the Captain in charge of all of North Florida. I had field offices in Pensacola, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Ocala. I stayed with D.I.F. for ten years and retired from there in 2003.
I am now a volunteer phone counselor with my local 2-1-1 crisis hotline. Although a nationwide effort, many Americans do NOT know what 2-1-1 is, or that it is available to them, usually 24/7. I have been involved with 2-1-1 since the Fall of 2005. Here in the Tallahassee area they ask their volunteers to commit to at least 200 volunteer hours. To date, I have logged in excess of 1,800 volunteer hours and by this summer (2011) I hope to reach the 2,000 volunteer hour threshold. I currently have more volunteer hours with 2-1-1 than any other volunteer there. In 2008 I received the Volunteer of the Year Award. For more about 2-1-1 see www.211.org and www.211bigbend.org.
I also do volunteer work with my local Guardian ad Litem (G.A.L.) Program. We advocate for abused, neglected or abandoned children. The Guardians speak in court on behalf of the children and they are there to make sure the children do not fall through the cracks. I have been involved with the G.A.L. Program since April of 2007. I have had several very successful cases and in March of 2009 one of my teenage boys and I were honored during a G.A.L. ceremony at Florida's Capitol. Florida Governor Charlie Crist had some kind words to say about the entire G.A.L. Program, me and my volunteer efforts. This youth, who lost both of his parents, was my very first case and I had been advocating for him for almost two full years. He is one of the G.A.L. Program’s success stories and he is now a valuable member of the U.S. Air Force. This had always been one of his dreams.
As a retired law enforcement officer I also do volunteer work with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (N.L.E.O.M.F.), located in Washington D.C. They do an outstanding job of honoring the brave men and women of law enforcement who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They are building a new National Law Enforcement Museum and I assist them with their fundraising efforts. I also help get the word out about the Memorial and the new museum. Groundbreaking was in October 2010 and the new museum will open to the public in 2013. Please see www.nleomf.org and www.firstgiving.com/flpdbadge149.
My wife Pat and I live in Tallahassee. We have three grown and married daughters, and seven grandchildren. My youngest daughter Stephanie is also expecting a new baby girl in April (2011).
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