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St. Augustine Police Chief Barry Fox will take on the role of Code Enforcement Manager as part of his transition plan for retirement as Chief, which is Friday, April 30, 2021, after 28 years of dedicated service to the city. Assistant Chief of Police Anthony Cuthbert will run the day-to-day operations of the St. Augustine Police Department until a Chief of Police is selected by the City Manager. “I’m happy for Chief Fox on his well-deserved retirement. But even more, I could not be more please to have his continued service to the city in this position,” commented City Manager John Regan. “Chief’s passion and dedication to our community’s safety and well-being will certainly be a factor in bringing our code enforcement efforts to a new level.”
The recent establishment of the Short-Term Rental (STR) registration program requires a Code Enforcement Manager who supervises dedicated code enforcement officers and an administrative assistant. The manager will be responsible for coordinating responsive efforts of the STR code enforcement officer as well as other code enforcement officers who oversee general municipal code violations and complaints.
Chief Fox set several goals when he started his tenure as St. Augustine’s Chief of Police, including, but not limited to, agency accreditation, increased retention of the workforce, and decreased crime rates. While serving as Chief, the addition of body cameras and the Community Outreach/Quality of Life programs also came to fruition. In 2019, in collaboration with downtown business owners and City leadership, Fox championed the need for increased code enforcement and improved safety with the Quality of Nightlife Strategic Plan, to include ways of lessening the strain on law enforcement officers when it came to code enforcement. Chief Fox remarked, “With the growing volume of short-term rentals and the continued growth of the hospitality industry, there will be a need for more oversight, but not from a law enforcement standpoint. I am excited to continue to serve the City of St. Augustine and its residents in this new role.”
With Quality of Life and Livability being two of the tenets of the City’s Visioning Plan, Fox believes he can better serve community stakeholders. “I have built long-standing relationships with businesses city-wide, and I have always believed that the enforcement of municipal code is not the primary role of law enforcement, but we have had to work together to keep the community safe, prosperous, and orderly with the staffing and resources that we had,” Fox said. “However, by creating this program, it will give us the chance to have a more direct, open line of communication, and a collaborative role with our stakeholders, as opposed to an authoritative police presence when addressing municipal code complaints and violations.”
Fox was appointed Chief of Police in 2016 following the retirement of then-Chief Loren Lueders. Chief Fox also praised the support of his wife and family in the past several years, stating, “My wife has been the pillar of our family, and my kids have been very patient. But it is time for me to step back from Chief, be available for my daughter (who is 15) and my son (who is eight), and pass the torch to our next Chief of Police to continue our good work.”
Per the City Charter, a list of eligible candidates from current staff will be provided to the City Manager by the Civil Service Board from which he may select a chief. If no qualifying applicant is selected, the Civil Service Board can then provide a list of candidates from outside the organization. Additional details of the selection process for Chief of Police can be found in the City's municipal code online here, Article III, Section 2-54 - Filling of vacancies; chief of police or fire chief.
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