Community Policing The Fernandina Way!
The Fernandina Beach Police Department is a fully accredited law enforcement agency of thirty full-time and nine part-time sworn officers, as well as eleven civilian employees, serving an island community of 12,000 residents and thousands of annual visitors. Our unique challenges and security responsibilities include a high-volume municipal airport and the Port of Fernandina. In addition, we are strategically situated on the south side of the St. Mary’s channel, which is utilized by Trident submarines from Kings Bay, Georgia, and we are just north of Naval Station Mayport, Florida. In recent years the City of Fernandina Beach has annexed numerous parcels or residential and commercial property, without increasing our number of sworn positions. Additional annexations are expected and will continue to create a service burden on City resources. In addition, the unincorporated area of the island, approximately 12,000 additional residents, rely on the City to respond to emergency calls for service when the Sheriff’s Office is unavailable.
The Fernandina Beach Police Department is fully committed to community policing and problem solving strategies. In the past three years we have implemented neighborhood assignments throughout the city and empowered officers to take ownership of problem solving activities within their area of responsibility, and to reinvigorate established programs such as Crime Watch. Our Police Auxiliary Corps program takes “community partnership” to a whole new level, with more than one-hundred volunteers assisting in a variety of ways, from special events, traffic direction, school zones, elder checks, and volunteers on patrol, we have engaged our community in a way never before seen in this area, and have done it without any salaried positions or taxpayer dollars!
In addition, our web presence provides timely information and resource data to the community, our police building is utilized for community meetings on a daily basis, and our Special Enforcement Unit works with other City departments to better manage code complaints. We take full advantage of crime and sex offender mapping software, making information readily available to anyone visiting our website. We are engaged through support and membership on local boards and councils, to include the Micah’s Place Domestic Violence Board of Directors, Nassau County Homeless Coalition, Montessori School Board, Juvenile Justice Council, Mental Health Advisory Board, LinX Board, Nassau Alcohol, Crime and Drug Abatement Coalition, Communities in Schools, Police Athletic League and community groups such as Rotary, Boy Scouts and Optimists.