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"An Honor to Serve, A Duty to Protect"

Sheriff Frederick "Rick" Staly, 2017 - Present

Upon taking office, Sheriff Staly set out to modernize and professionalize the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and instill a new foundation and culture to keep up with Flagler County’s growing population. During his first year in office, he worked with the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners and the Mayor and City Council for the City of Palm Coast to provide increased personnel to serve the growing county and city. This resulted in 21 new positions—the largest employment increase at one time in the history of the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Staly is recognized as ushering the agency into a modern and professional law enforcement agency for the 21st century. Under Sheriff Staly, the agency motto is “An Honor to Serve, A Duty to Protect” and Sheriff Staly believed no crime was acceptable and the Sheriff’s Office mission was to reduce crime. Reducing crime and serving the community started with reorganizing the agency and implementing guardianship policing as the new service delivery philosophy and culture.

Sheriff Staly implemented district policing by creating three districts to serve the distinct and unique areas of Flagler County. Believing that proactive, transparent, intelligence-led guardianship policing is the key to keeping a community safe and engaging the community as partner. This included the creation of the Homeland Security Section, Criminal Intelligence Unit, and the Real Time Crime Center using predictive crime analytics. Additionally, he created the Problem Area Crime Enforcement Unit (P.A.C.E.) to focus on known offenders, gang members, and crime hot spots.

He also reorganized the Detention Division into the Court and Detention Services Division. Through this division, he has continually worked to improve the facilities and inmate rehabilitation programs at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, which he nicknamed the “Green Roof Inn.” He created an Offender Rehabilitation and Inmate Services Unit, believing that if you can teach an inmate a trade, help them earn a high school diploma, or provide counseling and treatment for addiction or anger issues, they could become productive members of the community and not return to jail upon release. In addition, and for the first time in Sheriff’s Office history, the jail provided 24-hour inmate medical services through a contracted private medical company to reduce liability and control inmate medical costs. Sheriff Staly also implemented an Inmate Work Program where inmates would perform maintenance and landscaping work at county owned facilities and roadways under the watchful eye of a Detention Deputy. Finally, under Sheriff Staly, the county jail became an accredited correctional facility under the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission. In 2023, the jail received the American Jail Association’s Innovation Award for medium-sized facilities.

Sheriff Staly created the Youth Services Section to focus on the needs of the community's growing youth population. This included developing a close partnership with Flagler Schools. Through this partnership, after-school sports for middle school students were implemented through the Flagler Sheriff's Police Athletic League (PAL) program to provide crime prevention through sports. Additionally, a Criminal Justice Academy was developed and implemented at Matanzas High School and for the first time all public and charter schools in Flagler County were assigned a School Resource Deputy to their campus, with two at each high school.

He also re-started and expanded FCSO’s full-time Marine Unit and purchased the agency’s first airboat to patrol and respond to emergencies in the marsh areas of Pellicer Creek and the Intracoastal Waterway. Sheriff Staly replaced and upgraded agency patrol boats and implemented 7-day patrol coverage on Flagler County waterways. The new boat also provided capability for deployment and rescue missions in the Atlantic Ocean.

Additional deputies were assigned to the Investigative Services Division; Professional Development & Accreditation Section; Community Engagement and Public Affairs Office; Traffic/Motors Enforcement Unit and the creation of the Cyber Crimes/Internet Crimes Against Children Unit and a Digital Forensics Unit to accommodate the fast-growing county. He implanted the Agency’s first Drone Unit with the purchase of three drones.

The agency’s first full-time General Counsel was hired and Report Review was created. Report Review was responsible for reviewing all arrests and case filings to ensure the elements of the crime were included in the report. This was done to enhance the quality of the reports and the likelihood of prosecution by the State Attorney’s Office. Sheriff Staly used the General Counsel and civil nuisance laws to go after problematic locations when criminal courts seemed unable to resolve criminal activity and neighborhood quality of life issues.

A new 52,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Operations and District 3 building was constructed and opened in December 2022 along with a separate 6,000 square-foot building for purchasing/supply and included a specialty vehicle garage. The new Operations Center includes a museum in the public area of the building reflecting the Sheriff’s Office history since its founding in 1917, along with a faraday room for digital forensics. This was the first faraday room in northeast Florida. The new building included a state-of-the-art forensics and CSI laboratory with a vehicle processing lab that included a vehicle lift. The building and site was designed to accommodate a future 30,000sf expansion.

The agency’s specialty vehicles were upgraded and replaced. A new armored SWAT Bearcat, SWAT Tactical Operations Center, state-of-the-art custom-built Mobile Command Center, and an Emergency Response Team deployment bunkhouse trailer along with a separate Emergency Restaurant Team “cook” trailer were all purchased or replaced, better preparing the agency to respond to critical incidents and hurricanes.

Sheriff Staly implemented state-of-the-art technology to make deputies more efficient, effective and safer. Automated License Plate Readers were installed throughout the county along with upgraded body and car cameras that allow deputies to livestream incidents to the Real Time Crime Center as they are occurring. For the first time all marked and some tactical unmarked cars were equipment with radar for traffic enforcement. Upgrades were also made in the radio system and 9-1-1 center, including text to 9-1-1 and the ability for citizens to livestream incidents to the communications center as they are occurring.

Sheriff Staly is known as a hands-on Sheriff or a "Cops’ Cop" and is known to call criminals “dirtbags.” While he has no-nonsense style of law and order he fights fiercely to support his employees. Under his administration, the Flagler Sheriff’s Employee Assistance Trust Fund (F.S.E.A.T.) was created to support the well-being of employees during personal and unexpected family emergencies. He also implemented a resiliency program for employees and their families and started the annual Sheriff’s Gala to benefit F.S.E.A.T. Sheriff Staly often assists his deputies at crime scenes, serving arrest or search warrants, or personally makes arrests or conducts traffic stops on one of his usual Friday night patrols, many times with community leaders riding with him.

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