Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Barry Fox Interview on Intergovernmental Relations in Law Enforcement (SAR)

Posted December 21, 2016 12:02 am
Fox says relationships with other county law enforcement agencies are key as he assumes role of city police department

CHRISTINA.KELSO@STAUGUSTINE.COM St. Augustine Police Chief Barry Fox drives down Cathedral Place in downtown on Thursday December 15, 2016.

With less than a month on the job, newly appointed St. Augustine Police Chief Barry Fox already has a good idea of what his goals are and what challenges he will face heading up the city’s police department.

But, he said, he is happy he has strong relationships the county’s other law enforcement agencies.

Being comfortable on the job and knowing, mostly, what to expect, he said, has a lot to do with having been with the department since 1993, Fox told The Record during an interview last week.

“I am taking over a department that I have been a part of and helped mold for the last couple of years,” he said as he drove through downtown on a busy Thursday afternoon.

Fox made the rank of commander in 2009. In March of this year, City Manager John Regan appointed him assistant chief, setting the stage for him to assume control of the department on Nov. 30 when Chief Loran Lueders retired.

Throughout the interview, Fox repeatedly credited Lueders, and his predecessors, with building a department that would make his job easier.

“I am not coming to a department that had issues,” he said.

St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar, who served the department as chief until he was elected Sheriff in 2004, as well Bill Robinson, who preceded Shoar, were all a part of that effort, according to Fox.

“We are just building upon what they have already established,” he said.

In terms of goals, Fox said, one of the first things he wants to get done is to secure accreditation for the department. That was a process started under Lueders and was also one of the first goals for St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Robert Hardwick when he took over that city’s department in 2013.

Fox, who served not only with Shoar but also Hardwick during their time in the city’s police department, said he would be relying on both men’s experiences in getting, and keeping, accreditation for their departments, as he works toward accreditation of his own.

The relationships he’s built with those two, he said, will also be important as he works to deal with an increasingly busy city.

Although St. Augustine’s population hasn’t grown much in recent years, tourist traffic has increased.

“For a town of 14,000 people we have as many police officers as you would need,” he said. “But what is not computed into that figure is the amount of tourists.”

If one assumes the city sees 7 million visitors annually, that means there are an additional 19,000 people in the city every day, Fox said.

“Then if you factor in Flagler College … you’ve got another 2,500 students on campus,” he added.

All of that contributes to a bustling city that is also developing a vibrant nightlife, which places more demands on the department, according to Fox.

Fox said that 10 years ago the department answered about 38,000 calls for service in a year.

“Last year I think we were close to 44,000,” he said.

Added to that is the busy festival and event schedule, regular concerts, and dignitary visits like the recent one from Donald Trump when he was campaigning for president.

That increased demand is why Fox sought grant funding a few months back to add three new officers, who, he hoped to use in a special patrol that would work Wednesday through Saturday evenings and help deal with the inevitable service calls associated with a busy nightlife.

Unfortunately, he said, the department didn’t get the grant which means he will be relying as much as ever on Shoar’s and Hardwick’s departments — and the relationships the departments continue to build — when his is stretched thin.

It’s already happening, Fox said as he turned his vehicle onto San Marco Avenue and drove along the city’s waterfront, passing a number of bars.

“One example of that, is at 2 o’clock in the morning,” he said. “If the Sheriff’s Office has people (available), they are sitting down here with us, helping us close the bars down.”

The same holds true for the Beach department who “slides over” and helps cover calls when something — like the recent discovery of two bodies in a burned out vehicle on Spring Street — draws most of his officers to a single scene, Fox said.

“The bonds are becoming much stronger and the teamwork toward certain events is becoming much more fluid,” he said.

That wasn’t always the case according to Fox. Though relationships were never really strained, the departments used to be more insulated, he said.

But now, the fluidity he mentioned is readily apparent. Sheriff’s Office and city personnel both responded to that Spring Street crime scene last month.

“My investigators are meshed intimately with the Sheriff’s Office investigators and they are working that case together,” he said. “The outcome is not a pride thing, it is about getting the appropriate closure for the families.”

Tom Reynolds
Ya, the good ole Gang of Law Enforcement needs to stick together. What ever you do, don't become individual and independent thinkers. Always listen and obey the Sherriff. After all he investigates himself so he will investigate your department Fox, you will always be cleared. The Good Ole Boy Gang is alive and well here in St Johns County !

But, he said, he is happy he has strong relationships the county’s other law enforcement agencies.

The Old School Policing going on around here is completely out of touch with National trends. Body cameras and dashboard cams need to be part of the modern day Law Enforcement.

The St Johns County Sheriff department has NO BUSINESS investigating themselves or any other Police Agency in the County. Fox and Hardwich are just Puppets for Sheriff Shoar. I at least hope Fox is a full time Police Chief and not Part Time like Chief Hardwich of the St Augustine Beach Police Department. Hardwich is the highest paid part time Chief of Police in the State.

Teej Buhlay
Maybe you should join the department(s) and make the positives changes you rant about. It is all too easy to stand on the sideline and grumble.
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Tom Reynolds
Well thank you Teej, I am making changes without joining. It is people like me who point out to people who are unaware of this failure to be the Best in Class. Plus do you really think that I would get hired ? I just wish people like you would use your real name and photo. Instead of hiding the truth, hey you would make a Good Ole Boy Cop. Hiding the truth is one of the Qualifiers !
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Teej Buhlay
Real name? It is.

Why wouldnt you get hired? Never self-assess yourself out of an opportunity you want. Make them make that decision.

What truth am i hiding?

Tom Reynolds
Well Teej, my photo is always on here, I am very good looking and The Record requires my photo to be on here. That is how they get a lot more Ladies reading.
Now as far as joining, that is not real. due to a lot of factors. However I would love to be on the Police Oversight Board. That is what I would be best at. After all, I can expose phony from a hundred yards blindfolded. But ya see Teej, the County doesn't have one. Big Davie and Little Wobbie and Foxy Fox would fight that tooth and nail. Ole School Cops hate transparency and anyone knowing what really goes on. So Teej, anything else I am all eyes and ears. Put your photo Teej, don't be afraid !

Teej Buhlay
I also looked, but didnt see your picture. Hmm.
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Tom Reynolds
You must have blocking on your device and you really are missing out on seeing the best looking person in the County !

Chris Clarke
Chief Fox is a great man and has worked hard for this city he has earned this position and will do it right even if certain people in this area have to hate every city and county official.
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Tom Reynolds
I know of no one who hates any Official in the County or the Cities in this area. If you know of haters Chris, pray for them, I always do.

Teej Buhlay
Chris, there will always be naysayers...who will gripe and complain but provide no reasonable or viable solutions to there own findings.

1 comment:

Warren Celli said...

BARRY FOX is a hero's hero.

He heroically enforces the two tier scam law enforcement system that favors the rich Xtrevilist psychopath pigs that have hijacked the city and write his paycheck.

Hero BARRY FOX has helped the rich create more crime than hero BARRY FOX can ever hope to solve in a hundred life times.

Hero BARRY FOX provides protectionist muscle for all of the state drug dealers in town — the folks that fund through graft and corruption the state alcohol and tobacco cartel's jack boot cops, the jack boot cops that arrest all of state alcohol and tobacco cartel's weed smoking competition; and as a by product fill the privatized prison system.

Hero BARRY FOX has taken a dual oath to follow the Constitution of the United States of America and follow the orders of his superiors who write his paycheck.

Hero BARRY FOX is never conflicted, like all other cop heroes, he always follows the orders that write his paycheck.

Hero BARRY FOX is a key player in insuring that the full spectrum dominance perpetual conflict in Scamerica intensifies; and sadly, hero BARRY FOX does not have a clue what it is all about.

Hero BARRY FOX is a moral moron. You can read about his quintessential lap dog butt sucking exploits here...