Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 21, 2021
Despite Covid restrictions, officers and staff of the Fernandina Beach Police Department, former elected officials and City personnel gathered in City Hall Commission Chambers at the beginning of the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) meeting on April 20, 2021, to offer congratulations and well wishes to retiring City Police Chief James T. Hurley.
Hurley’s official retirement date is May 1, 2021. He will be succeeded by Deputy Police Chief Mark Foxworth. Throughout his 15 years of service with the City during his 40-plus years of total service in law enforcement, Hurley has been a visible presence in the community, leading a force of men and women skilled and well trained in community policing. Mayor Mike Lednovich commended Hurley for setting a tone of restraint and de-escalation that served the City well during his tenure.
Mayor Lednovich, surrounded by his fellow commissioners, read the following;
WHEREAS, it is with great honor and distinction that the City of Fernandina Beach recognizes the retirement of Police Chief James T. Hurley following his long and distinguished Law Enforcement career; and
WHEREAS, more than forty years ago, Chief Hurley took the solemn oath to Honor and Protect. On May 1, 2006, Chief Hurley entered service as the City of Fernandina Beach Police Chief in which he served with indisputable professionalism and integrity; and
WHEREAS, Chief James T. Hurley faithfully and thoroughly fulfilled his weighty roles and responsibilities, frequently going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure citizens and visitors were safe, secure, and protected. Chief Hurley is eminently respected and regarded by residents as well as local, regional, and statewide law enforcement professionals; and
WHEREAS, Chief Hurley is directly responsible for establishing many successful Police service volunteer programs: the Police Auxiliary Corps which provides traffic control for parades, school zones, and special events; the Beach Ranger program which ensures beach goers enjoy the coast in a protected environment; the Police Advisory Board which is comprised of residents and community leaders who provide insight and counsel regarding area law enforcement concerns and; Safe In Place which provides regular wellness check ins for local senior citizens; and
WHEREAS, Chief James T. Hurley will retire on May 1, 2021. The sincere and conscientious efforts he demonstrated on the job during his fifteen years of dedicated service have dramatically benefitted the City of Fernandina Beach, but none more so than the members of the Police Department family.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Commission of the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida, that genuine and sincere gratitude is hereby expressed for the professional and loyal efforts of Chief James T. Hurley during his tenure of service; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Proclamation is presented as a permanent matter of record in the proceedings of the City Commission as a testimonial of our sincerest thanks to:
CHIEF JAMES T. HURLEY
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Michael A. Lednovich, as Mayor have hereunto set my hand and caused the Official Seal of the City of Fernandina Beach to be affixed this 20th day of April, 2021.
In accepting the Proclamation, Hurley remarked that working for the City of Fernandina Beach and leading the police force “has been a pleasure and the honor of my lifetime.” He thanked and acknowledged the FBCC and City staff. He acknowledged his police force and said, “Police work is noble work, and these are noble police officers.”
Hurley alluded to the verdict in the George Floyd trial, which had just been released. “Our police are going to need your support in the days and years to come, and they are going to need morally courageous leadership. I am very confident in the next police chief. Deputy Chief Mark Foxworth will be taking my place and we are planning a seamless transition.”
With emotion he acknowledged his wife Susan, whom he referred to as his “secret weapon.” He also expressed appreciation to former city managers that he worked with, especially acknowledging Dale Martin, whom he said has become a great friend.
Hurley received several rounds of applause and a standing ovation during the presentation.
Mayor Lednovich concluded with brief remarks and anecdotes. He said, “Organizational culture comes from the top, and the culture of this Police Department is the right and proper culture of this island and its citizens.”