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In Bunnell Police Chief Battle, a Popular Choice Against City Manager’s Unpopular Criteria

| February 3, 2012

Lt. Randy Burke wants to be police chief. City Manager Armando Martinez may have other ideas. (© FlaglerLive)

Except for a brief interruption two years ago, Randy Burke has been a Bunnell city police officer for almost 20 years, 10 of them as second in command. He lists his objective at the top of his resume: “To achieve the position of chief of police for the city of Bunnell.” He turned in his application for the top job the moment it was advertised internally, after Arthur Jones, the current chief, announced his retirement come April.

Burke’s application for the $50,000-a-year job doesn’t qualify. At least not officially.

“Lt. Burke was the only person who attempted to apply internally, but he was denied that opportunity because he does not qualify based on the job announcement posting requirements,” Dan Davis, Bunnell’s city clerk, wrote in an email.

Burke has no bachelor’s degree. That criteria is part of the job requirements. City Manager Armando Martinez wrote the criteria, even though the BA requirement is new. Jones doesn’t have a B.A. He wasn’t even a ranked officer when he was named chief in November 2008. He’d spent years as a school cop in Broward County and an investigator in the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s homicide unit, then as a cop in Bunnell.

Burke, ironically the only Bunnell officer who lives within the city limits (Jones lives in Palm Coast, Martinez lives in Borward County), considers the BA requirement an attempt to keep him from getting the job. “You can’t lower the qualifications for Jones and raise them for me,” Burke says.

Five people so far have applied for the position after its posting on a police chiefs’ association’s website: Gary W. Benedict, Robert Campbell, Kevin R. Costello, Victor D. Neal and Joseph E. Sisti. The name many people expected—Louis Vega, an old colleague and friend of Martinez from their Miami days, and now a reserve officer in Bunnell—is not on the list. Martinez has said previously that Vega “was never interested and he was never going to be a candidate as far as I know.”

The issue surrounding the possible rejection of Burke’s application has done something unusual in Bunnell. It has stirred enough people to action that, last month at a city commission meeting, Koreen Kowalsky-Colpoys, along with Ramona and Bill Woodfin, presented a petition to the commissioners, signed by more than 200 people, asking that Burke “be placed in the position for Bunnell police chief.” (See the full petition below.)

Koreen Kowalsky-Colpoys (© FlaglerLive)

“I live in the city, and I for one want somebody who knows the area,” Kowalsky-Colpoys, who was an unsuccessful candidate for the city commission in March 2011, says. “Lt. Burke lives in Bunnell, and he knows the area, he knows all the residents, he knows exactly what’s going on, and he practically runs that whole department now as it is. Why can’t we have somebody in there that knows us, knows what’s going on in the city wand would do what’s right for the citizens of the city? He’s been passed over three times for this. Chief Jones didn’t have a bachelor’s degree when he was hired.”

The petition has some backing on the commission. At least two commissioners—Elbert Tucker and John Rogers—have spoken favorably of looking for a new chief close to home. But a petition on a non-political office can backfire by politicizing the position. That’s what happened to some degree last year in Flagler Beach, when city commissioners were looking for a new city manager. They did a national search and got 140 applicants, many of them eminently qualified, but from the beginning, Bruce Campbell, who worked in the city’s public works department at the time, had an inside track. He’d been a top executive at a large company before, but he had no public experience, and on paper, many of the applicants surpassed his qualifications.

In one regard, they didn’t: Campbell had a local following that literally campaigned for him, petitioned on his behalf, and made plenty of noise at commission meetings. The tactic alienated some commissioners, who resisted appointing Campbell for months, but finally—when other short-listed candidates fell through—gave in. Campbell by most regards has done well since and earned the commission’s support.

Armando Martinez (© FlaglerLive)

Martinez is politically savvy. He hasn’t closed the door on a Burke application. He knows the power of petitions, which have a way of growing legs: if a popular movement for Burke is turned back, it could roll over into a political campaign at the next city elections, early in 2013, when two commission seats and the mayor’s seat are up. Martinez, who has a razor-thin 3-2 endorsement on the commission, can’t afford to see either Commissioner Daisy Henry or Mayor Catherine Robinson defeated. (The thin support led Martinez to look for another job last summer.) And it doesn’t take many votes to win a seat on the commission: Jenny Crain Brady was elected last March with just 126 votes, Rogers with 110. Martinez and commissioners may find it difficult to ignore a petition with double those numbers, assuming all the names are legitimate.

“Everybody is going to be considered,” Martinez said on Friday. “The fact that there was a petition, I’m going to have the board take a hard look at Lt. Burke. But the issue here is to get the best candidate.”

By board, Martinez wasn’t referring to the city commission, which has no direct say in the interviewing or hiring of a new chief, but to an advisory panel of people in or close to law enforcement that he’s forming. The panel will go through the applications and conduct interviews. It tentatively will include Noel Griffin of the State Attorney’s office, a representative from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Mike Ignasiak, plus Jones and Martinez.

The meetings of that board will not be open to the public, Martinez says, nor will city commission members be invited to sit in (if they were, the meetings would have to be open).

Martinez described it as “a plus” if the applicant for the position were local. But the Burke application may prove problematic. Martinez wanted to speak with Sid Nowell, the city attorney, to ensure that considering Burke’s application, in light of the written job qualification requirements, would not be seen as unfair to other candidates. Why the difference in requirements between Burke and Jones? “It wasn’t required. It was required when I became chief, and it wasn’t required when he became chief because historically and traditionally since I’ve been here all the promotions at the Bunnell Police Department have been internal.” In this case, to widen the scope and get the best candidate, Martinez decided to include the BA requirement again.

“I’m basically overlooked by Martinez. I don’t think he particularly cares for me,” Burke said. “I don’t think he likes the fact that I won my job back.”

Burke was referring to the time when he was the subject of an investigation and was fired in April 2009. He had been accused of taking $100 that had been collected for an ex-cop who was having a tough time around Christmas two years earlier (Burke and other supervisors had fired that cop for poor performance). A Flagler County Sheriff’s investigation found that Burke had “misappropriated” the money, but it could not determine whether he’d stolen it.

Martinez fired him. Burke challenged the decision. An arbitrator found that Burke had been careless, negligent and irresponsible when he didn’t deliver the money (which included $20 from Burke’s own pocket), but that firing him was an excessive punishment. Burke was re-hired in August 2010 and got $53,000 in back pay, but was demoted from captain to lieutenant, the rank he now holds.

Martinez, Burke said, “doesn’t like to lose to people. He also doesn’t like to be told no.”

Burke concedes making mistakes in the past. “I’m by no means perfect and I make mistakes, same as everybody else,” he said. But he also corrects them , he says, as he does the police department’s own: he says he’s been in charge of the department’s records and evidence division, which he described as “a mess” when he took it over about six months ago (an understatement, compared to the way a State Attorney’s investigation described that division a year and a half ago), instituting set standards there.

Martinez is resentful of implications that he has anything against Burke. “Anybody that applies will be considered at one point or another,” Martinez said. “At the end of the day I’m going to do what I believe is right, not what the popular decision will be.”

Randy Burke petition for Bunnell Police chief

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49 Responses for “In Bunnell Police Chief Battle, a Popular Choice Against City Manager’s Unpopular Criteria”

  1. Amy Hamal-Canna via Facebook says:

    I wish I knew there was a petition going around I would have signed it. Burke is known as a no nonsense cop in my house and he is a good guy. He is perfect for this town and to even look out of town is insulting. As far as Martinez is concerned in my mind he shouldn’t even have a job here.

    • Anonymous says:

      forget about burke…..get rid of martinez and jones…the whole dept. is corrupt…..residents of bunnell are ignorant about martinez and jones. flagler county sheriffs office needs to take it over and clean it up the way it needs to be cleaned up.

  2. Honest Abe says:

    Lt. Burke I applaud you for telling the truth at the turmoil it may cause from the dictator. In the end, , the dictator will hire the best person he can for himself, Louis Vega. Is this the same Louis Vega that was bounced from his command in NYPD for doing funny things with numbers and statistics? Randy, get those 200 people to vote in a new mayor so the tide can finally change!

  3. real people says:

    bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean anything, keep it the American way! A local good man knows every square inch of the city and almost every good and bad guy, this type of chief knows all our children and very knowledgeable as to who are the parents. AGAIN, BUNNELL KEEP IT THE TRUE AMERICAN WAY NOT THE PALM COAST WAY. After all, General Motors Corp in the good days had a high school drop out as a vice President look @ GM now. A street education is a true education in my opinion.

  4. says:

    they ought to just get rid of bunnell , i have never seen so many problems with a city that small. 50,000 for chief of police , i made that in overtime 8 years ago what a joke.

  5. Deborah says:

    Thank you to all.

  6. w.ryan says:

    As second in command he is an asset to the Bunnell Police Department. I know Lt. Burke and he is a stand up person and a good cop. He’ll make a good Chief.

  7. captainsniz says:

    Agreed. A BS degree at minimum should be required for a position such as this.

    People broaden themselves through the educational experience. Many struggle as adults to balance family, job and school to obtain these degrees with the promise of greater opportunity after completion. They also acquire financial burden to accomplish this goal. I see outstanding hardworking people with degrees passed over all the time because others with less credentials have worked somewhere longer or because they know someone in power. There should be no sense of entitlement expected from current employees for these top jobs. If Mr. Burke truly wants a position such as this, he should start attending night school.

    Just because you worked somewhere for 20 years, does that automatically entitle you to become CEO when the job opens? One would think you should select the individual with the most outstanding qualifications! This especially applies to government positions.

  8. Rick says:

    Captainsniz, you are right but that is not how bunnellians think. Most of them don’t understand higher education and are highly skeptical of you if you have one. Besides, the commission does whatever it wants anyway right or wrong. This isn’t a town that makes decisions from an educated evaluation of circumstances. It likes to shoot from the hip. Politicizing the hiring of the police chief is a prime example.

  9. PJ says:

    EXCUSE ME! wsh302
    It sounds to me like you don’t understand Bunnell or for that matter much about Flagler County and the area cities.

    Bunnell has been and in the area since it’s 100+ years of being here. It has been home to many folks from all over the United State. At one time Bunnell was sold to folks from the Chicago area during the 20-30’s. In fact it was a featured stop by rail promoting Bunnell as ITT sold Palm Coast during the 70’s 80’s and 90’s.

    My point being it is easy to speak with such disrespect as you did about the folks of Bunnell because you know nothing about Bunnell as evident in your sad remark.

    Understanding that this current board of commissioners really cares about their city. They clearly want to change the culture of opinion as “you have” that Bunnell is trouble.

    When you are as old as Bunnell you find troubles but since the tenure of Martinez and good cops like Burke and this staff of officers on patrol now there is hope. arrest of thugs are up.

    Think about this wsh302? if a PAC (political action committee) of folks want to use a petition to make a point to Bunnell city management it is their right to do so.

    Martines is a smart leader and you have to look at all the candidates before you make a decision.

    Many Bunnell residents like Burke but you can’t run the city on emotion.

    The petition helps in the process but you must manage by what’s good for business and consider the most qualified in any position that requires a replacement.

    So wsh302 we here in Bunnell hope you live in Palm Coast because that’s where you belong………….

    • jespo says:

      There’s a difference between a city having problems and a city being a problem. I like living in Palm Coast, it’s a great little city that has some problems….and great potential. I’m glad you’re glad you live in Bunnell, you sound like you belong there.

  10. baker says:

    I think college education in law enforcement does not automatically make you a better leader. All that does is shows that you are committed to finishing a long term goal. Trust me I have seen college educated administrators that had no clue how to run a department or be a leader. Bunnell has always been a stepping ground for law enforcement to gain experience and go somewhere else. I think that Randy Burke has put in his dues andhas vital knowledge necessary of the city, community, law and politics to be a great chief. This would be better than hiring another person who has never been a Florida cop and has no clue what the law in Florida is today. On top of all tha Burke’s training and experience probably is the equivalent of a degree anyway.

  11. Outsider police chief says:

    This man, Lt Burke does not have bachelor’s degree. The position should require this at a minimum! Most officers who want to become police chief, even for a small dot on the map town like Bunnell should know that they need to get off of their rear end and go back to college. This shows conviction and a willingness to learn. Burke shows he lacks some other things required to be successful as a police chief as well: Temperament, discipline, good judgment, and the maturity to respect and get along with his potential boss. Petition! He should not be seriously considered for this job based on his juvenile behavior in handling this.

  12. Jojo says:

    This is such a tough call to make. Aside from the political interference and demographics of a small town and it’s police department, the mindset can stagnate the goal at hand, namely, choosing a police chief who is not only qualified but more importantly, a perfect “fit” to the political and agricultural charm of southern Bunnell.

    The lazy hazy days of small time Bunnell are slowly fading for some while others try to hang on to that past.
    It is apparent that some want to keep the status quo by not upsetting the feathers, while at the same time steering this small quaint town ahead and into modern day – “American way.”

    Whatever political motives of the City Manager, the requirements of a minimum Bachelors Degree is not uncommon or a far cry for the requirements for a Chief of Police, even for that of a small town like Bunnell.
    Some police departments require a Masters Degree. My sole position here is not to lessen the qualities of a candidate for Police Chief, even though he may not have a Bachelors Degree, but to promote and propagate the reason for having such.

    A candidate may be street smart and that may be all good for the everyday operation of the City of Bunnell but also, strive to be well rounded. After all, the old adage, “Education makes the Man,” is a favorite expression among many. Can the new police chief relate to the school or college student living in Bunnell studying algebra, literature, economics and world history.

    Lets not debase and cheapen a Bachelors Degree requirement for the sake of small time politics but expound the benefits even if only to make one more well rounded.

  13. youngrepublican says:

    A bs or ba dosent mean a damn thing in law enforcement. Most of those people you speak of that obatined their degrees while on the job were usually paper pushers, very very few were real steet cops. I actually obtained both my degrees after leaving the job. To pass over someone that has the knowledge of the community and experience that Randy Burke has for some one that has a peice of paper showing he sat in class (or in front of a computer screen) for four years is very short sighted.

    • captainsniz says:

      And what if another individual had a Bachelors or Masters degree in Criminal Justice with 5 or 10 years experience on the street? Should someone with 20 years and no degree be given beneficial treatment over an individual such as this?

      Many on the outside of that agency with outstanding qualification might not bother to apply if they have the impression that existing employees with less qualifications have a built in “entitlement” to the position. The minimum requirement make a more even playing field.

  14. Jojo says:

    Aside from being shortsighted, as you quote, probably the reason you were not promoted. Ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.

    Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College
    by Thomas Gray

    Ye distant spires, ye antique towers
    That crown the watery glade,
    Where grateful Science still adores
    Her Henry’s holy shade;
    And ye, that from the stately brow
    Of Windsor’s heights th’ expanse below
    Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
    Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
    Wanders the hoary Thames along
    His silver-winding way:

    Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
    Ah, fields belov’d in vain!
    Where once my careless childhood stray’d,
    A stranger yet to pain!
    I feel the gales that from ye blow
    A momentary bliss bestow,
    As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
    My weary soul they seem to soothe,
    And, redolent of joy and youth,
    To breathe a second spring.

    Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen
    Full many a sprightly race
    Disporting on thy margin green
    The paths of pleasure trace—
    Who foremost now delight to cleave
    With pliant arm, thy glassy wave?
    The captive linnet which enthral?
    What idle progeny succeed
    To chase the rolling circle’s speed
    Or urge the flying ball?

    While some on earnest business bent
    Their murmuring labours ply
    ‘Gainst graver hours that bring constraint
    To sweet liberty:
    Some bold adventurers disdain
    The limits of their little reign
    And unknown regions dare descry:
    Still as they run they look behind,
    They hear a voice in every wind,
    And snatch a fearful joy.

    Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
    Less pleasing when possest;
    The tear forgot as soon as shed,
    The sunshine of the breast:
    Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue,
    Wild wit, invention ever new,
    And lively cheer, of vigour born;
    The thoughtless day, the easy night,
    The spirits pure, the slumbers light
    That fly th’ approach of morn.

    Alas! regardless of their doom,
    The little victims play;
    No sense have they of ills to come,
    Nor care beyond to-day:
    Yet see how all around ’em wait
    The ministers of human fate
    And black Misfortune’s baleful train!
    Ah, show them where in ambush stand,
    To seize their prey, the murderous band!
    Ah, tell them they are men!

    These shall the fury Passions tear,
    The vultures of the mind,
    Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
    And Shame that skulks behind;
    Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
    Or Jealousy with rankling tooth
    That inly gnaws the secret heart,
    And Envy wan, and faded Care,
    Grim-visaged comfortless Despair,
    And Sorrow’s piercing dart.

    Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
    Then whirl the wretch from high
    To bitter Scorn a sacrifice
    And grinning Infamy.
    The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
    And hard Unkindness’ alter’d eye,
    That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
    And keen Remorse with blood defil’d,
    And moody Madness laughing wild
    Amid severest woe.

    Lo, in the vale of years beneath
    A griesly troop are seen,
    The painful family of Death,
    More hideous than their queen:
    This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
    That every labouring sinew strains,
    Those in the deeper vitals rage;
    Lo! Poverty, to fill the band
    That numbs the soul with icy hand,
    And slow-consuming Age.

    To each his sufferings: all are men,
    Condemn’d alike to groan—
    The tender for another’s pain,
    Th’ unfeeling for his own.
    Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
    Since sorrow never comes too late,
    And happiness too swiftly flies?
    Thought would destroy their Paradise.
    No more;—where ignorance is bliss,
    ‘Tis folly to be wise.

  15. rick Wright says:

    First, Burke has NOT been with Bunnell PD for 20 years. More like 10 years, he was with Flagler Beach PD before that. How many Sexual Discrimination Complaints have been made against him and the former Chief Bill Davis? Those complaints cost the city how much? Well over $200k to settle them! Burke is a fool for wanting the job. Go ahead Martinez, hire him. Then fire him as he has no arbitrary protection as a Chief. Burke will destroy himself and his career as Chief. No other agency will touch him with his littered personnel file. If he becomes Chief and is fired, which surely he will be. He will be washed up.

    • Brian L says:

      I thought he got suspended for pocketing 100 bucks that was donated for another officer last year at christmas time , instead of giving the officer the money he kept it for himself , is this the type of person you want running a police dept?

  16. captainsniz says:

    Teachers are required to have a Bachelors degree. In order to move up to an administrative position, a Masters degree is required. I’m in the Information Technology profession. In order to move up to a management position, I was required to obtain a Masters degree, not to mention the enormous amount of certifications required. In IT we are also expected to keep our certifications updated and the education updated through CER (continuing education requirements). This is the way the world works! Mr. Burke should be happy that he has made it to second-in-command (assuming he is officially “Assistant Chief”) without an educational requirement. If he had his sites set on that top job, he should have been working towards a Bachelors degree.

    Has Bunnell not and don’t they continue to benefit from his almost 20 years experience and his position as second-in-command? Yes he lives in the City…Yes he knows the people…and Yes they will continue to reap rewards from this EVEN IF he is not given the “Top Cop” position.

  17. flagler beach native says:

    Bunnell hired Chief Jones and he didn’t have a bachelor’s degree when he was hired. This is just a way for Martinez to hire one of his Miami buddys and to keep the spot from getting taken from the officer that should get it!! so Martinez adds the Bachelors Degree requirement because he knows that officer burke has no chance of getting the job then. What this is telling the officers that work hard and are trying to advance in the department ??? No chance of moving up the pay scale . I hope Randy burke sue the shit out of bunnell !!!! I remember when bunnell hired a chief that was not old enought to buy his own bullets!!! His mom had to buy them .Randy Burke should get the job and shame on the city commision if he does not !!!!!

  18. Rick says:

    Masters degree… get out of town! Not a single administrator in any department of that town has a MASTERS DEGREE. Lucky to have someone with a bachelors – not that it matters when the home grown folks always know best!

  19. Devrie says:

    I think a college education for a public type of position should be preferred, but not required. I don’t know much about law enforcement in terms of career benefits, but if college education is paid through any sort of tuition assistance payment (the way it can be paid for in the military), I don’t see how a position such as this cannot stipulate the fulfillment of educational requirements within a certain time frame, though I’m sure completing a college degree may be difficult while acting as the Chief of Police.

    I do think that a college education can be important in a public position. It rounds out a person’s perceptual experience. All the information people may shrug off as useless, such as college algebra and psychology open our minds to think about world problems in new ways. With that said, life experience can be just as, if not more useful in certain professions.

    Look, when colleges are “ranked,” they are ranked based on entrance requirements, graduation rates, facilities, and other attributes that tell us really nothing about the quality of the education a student receives. Education from life and education from a college is only valuable if someone values it, and determining how much such education influenced someone is difficult. Employers have a very small window to understand new employees who have not lived in their communities. A twenty year employment history is much more telling. If Lt. Burke would have gotten the job with a Bachelors, then it would be advantageous to the city to consider him, regardless of a stringent college degree requirement.

  20. Jojo says:

    Pull yourself up by your bootstraps


    Improve your situation by your own efforts

  21. jespo says:

    Hmmnn…why would Bunnell want a police chief that: studied :english language and was proficient in both writing and reading comprehension; studied sociology and psychology to gain a better understanding of people; math and science which are the foundations of forensics; business management to better manage assets effectively; communication classes which facilitate and enhance interaction with others such as other agencies and the media; world religions to better understand more than one’s own belief system; both American and world history, not just county history. I agree that acquiring a college degree in itself does not necessarily mean one is qualified for a given position, and not having a college degree does not mean you are not qualified for the same position; but to denounce a degree as useless compared to knowledge acquired through years of job performance is ignorance. There is more learned through learning than just what you’re taught, philosphy goes a long way, and all math is used at one point or another. This argument is indicative of the greater problem Bunnell faces…stagnation.

  22. Honest and Truthful says:

    Why is the city not digging deep into Burke’s file or did it disappear? He has tons of writeups in his file for things I cannot post. He’s been a problem cop in Flagler Beach and Bunnell. Yes, he’s one of the good old boy’s. He’s one thing and that’s trouble for Bunnell or anywhere he goes. He should have never gotten his job back.
    Bunnell, step and to the plate and deny his application. He will screw up again and I hope he hangs himself.

    • Anonynous says:

      Yes in deed. This tiny city has so many problems from the top on down. Everyone is scared to loose there job. No one stands up for the people below them. People are being fired without just cause. People are being hired because there in the good old boy network. How Jones got the job in the first place really needs to be studied. If he was the best applicant for the job someone was NOT doing there job in the screening process of applications. As far as Burke goes he is NOT the man for the job. He is no better than Jones just a littlr more educated.

  23. Linda says:

    Burke a police chief? Oh my, talk about the city going under if that happens!! Burke has no integrity and is truly an unhonest person. Sexual discrimintaion, I think that summs it all up and more. Anyone can obtain two hundred signatures, that does not mean a thing. Burke is only second in command right now because he is the only one that is knowledgeable about the operation of Bunnell. If Martinez is smart, he will not take another look at Burke. I agree with your comment honest and truthful.

  24. Donna says:

    How do we go about signing the petition? I want to sign it and I know my husband will as well

  25. Honest and Truthful says:

    I personally saw Burke’s file as it is public record. He should not be Chief of Police. The entire Bunnell P.D. is full of questionable officers. There is a Sgt. working there who was fired from the Flagler Sheriff’s Office for falsifying paperwork while teaching at Daytona College. He applied to the N.Y.P.D. Police Academy and falisfied his application. That caught up with him and he was dismissed. Now he works for Bunnell and as a supervisor. I spoke to the existing Chief about this and he say’s that they were forgiving because he has all this training. Duh, give me a break. Something is wrong here. They both should not even be security guards. Falsifying records is a CRIME, so why is he a cop especially a supervisor. Things have been way out of line in Bunnell for years. There is not enough space on this site to write it all.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Honest and Truthful.

      First off the person you are referring to has not worked for Bunnell PD in close to five months or more. Falsifying records as far as letting people occasionally get out of class early does not make the guy a criminal. In New York I believe he did not want to disclose info about why he thought his life and career were being ruined. Truth is from what I heard he wasn’t a butt kisser and didn’t fit in with the small circle that are running things. Theirs a lot of other people that have done way more than that and still have their jobs. Sounds like a personal attack or axe to grind on the guy.

  26. dontbesoparanoid says:

    Honest and Truthful,

    That “Sergeant” has not been employed by Bunnell PD for quite a while now. Your post sounds as if you spoke to the “existing chief” just today (do you even know his name?) The “falsifying” of records was letting class he was teaching at the college out early. He falsified the time sheet which violated rules set forth by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Serious enough that he lost his job with the Sheriff’s Office but not serious enough for FDLE to yank his law enforcement certification. But my reply post is not about that Sergeant. It is about letting you know that if you wish to engage in discussion Rip Van Winkle, it would be helpful to brush up on what is current. You would have had to have spoken to the “existing chief” about this a year ago or better.

  27. Jojo says:

    To Honest and Truthful,

    Aw, we are so quick to rip a person’s heart out and discard them like a piece of trash. If I didn’t find your comment a personal attack rather slanderous I would judge you to be the village idiot.

    Daytona State College cannot speak about falsifying records. After all the scandal about the cozy relationship(s) building dorm rooms, the still missing one and a half million dollars the Board just wrote off and allowing an investigation to vaporize without a criminal indictment speaks volumes about who you know and what you know?

    DSC is much a political entity as any I suppose and seeing that he excused Law Enforcement Personnel as he deemed is poppy cock and a paltry subterfuge strategem by the people in charge of the Academy Training at Daytona State College. There has been a long relationship between DSC and the Daytona Beach Police Department. They hire and promote double dippers from the agency to satisfy favoritism from within. A Flagler Beach Sherrif teaching Radar courses is out of place there.

    Having taken courses there, it is not uncommon but more the rule to dismiss students when course syallabi is taught. This goes on in every course not only at DSC but in colleges and universites throughout the U.S.. Make no mistake that there was a political motive here rather than hanging out a Flagler County Sherrif to dry. And, John Tanner has done little to expose the college for what it is but sweep it under the rug.

  28. FBlady says:

    Officer Burke does not deserve to become the police chief in Bunnell. He has not been an officer in Bunnell for 20 years. He was an officer in Flagler Beach for several years. He was a tyrant and terrorized the young people of this city. He did not play fair. I have first hand experience with this, as he constantly stalked my daughter and her friends. He is BAD NEWS!! and I wouldn’t trust him to be a fair and diplomatic chief!

  29. Honest and Truthful says:

    Have you ever heard the expression the TRUTH HURTS?

    Staff Writer

    A Flagler County sheriff’s deputy who taught a radar and laser class to law enforcement officers in the area is under investigation for falsifying records from the class — including grades, police officials confirmed Friday.

    The 40-hour course was taught at Daytona Beach Community College by Flagler deputy David Barbee, DBCC spokesman Glyn Johnston said.

    The 34-year-old Barbee, who has been with the Flagler Sheriff’s Office since 1997, has been placed on administrative leave and is under investigation by his department, Sheriff Don Fleming said. He’s also under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, police officials said.

    Reached by phone Friday night, Barbee declined to comment.

    Officers who graduated from Barbee’s class Jan. 26 will probably have to retake the course.

    Daytona Beach police, for example, sent 25 students to the laser/radar speed measurement class, while the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office sent seven deputies.

    “My concern is will we have to pay for this class again for 25 police officers?” Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood asked Friday. “And what could the legal ramifications be?”

    The deputy is accused of allowing students to leave class early, changing the grades of some students and falsifying attendance records.

    Chitwood said he is concerned whether the training given by Barbee is valid. He said he’s also worried about the speeding tickets his officers may have handed out on the basis of the training and whether those citations were fair and legitimate.

    Friday afternoon, Johnston confirmed the results of the probe by announcing in a written statement: “It was found that a previous instructor did not follow procedures and allegedly falsified documents relating to class attendance and testing.”

    Johnston also sent a short statement from Victoria Marsey, bureau chief for the FDLE’s Bureau of Standards: “While there does not appear to be any irregularities on the part of the training center or your staff, we will provide you with a full report indicating the outcome and what action will be taken.”

    The radar class issue was a topic Friday morning at the monthly police chiefs’ meeting, Daytona Beach Deputy Chief Ben Walton said. Port Orange Police Chief Gerald Monahan said he was in the process of determining how many of his officers had taken Barbee’s class.

    Of the seven Volusia deputies who took the course, only five remain with the department, and they’ll have to take a refresher course on the radar class in early August, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Gary Davidson said.

    “After the refresher course, DBCC and the FDLE are expected to make a determination as to whether this will satisfy the requirements for obtaining their radar certification, or whether the deputies will be required to retake the class,” Davidson said.

    The class, which is considered specialty training, is required for police officers who operate laser and radar guns.

  30. Honest and Truthful says:

    My mistake, I see he’s no longer with Bunnell. I commend Chief Jones on decision. What goes around comes around, Mmmmmm.

    • Anonynous says:

      Also the people of Bunnell need to seriously wonder why are there so many Law Suits against the city of Bunnell ? Do people even know whats going on ? I only wish that the people that hold high office would be investigated with the same vim and viger as lowly Sherriff Deputys, and Police officers. I suspect they would find plenty in there closets. The Good Ol Boy network is alive and well in Flagler County.

  31. Bullgator2410 says:

    Are you serious? Randy Burke with or without a college degree would be a serious mistake for Bunnell. Now, a thinking person may recall the days when Bunnell Commissioners were assigned Departments and assumed the role of ‘Department Head’ of thier assigned department. A thinking person then might realize if they were to recall that plan of action, we could essentially eliminate the City Manager (Martinez) and save the City about $135,000 with salary, insurance, gas, etc. Included in the trimming of the fat, allow the Sheriffs Office to contract to patrol the City of Bunnell and save the $300,000 or so it would save by eliminating the Bunnell Police Department. Add all that up and with about $435,000 we won’t need to scrap metal for the folks down at City Hall to get their holiday jollies! Just sayin. Oh, and btw, if they insist on keeping a City Manager, let’s try and find one that actually puts time in on the clock each day UNLIKE Martinez who is essentially NEVER at work and if they insist on a Chief I’m taking Joe Sisti any day who truly has been a police officer for as long as I can recall in and around our city and county without one sexual harrassment lawsuit or ‘interruptions’ of his career.

  32. the montecito says:


    Do you not realize that some folks that get elected don’t and can’t read a P&L ,balance sheets or for that matter a budget?

    They become commissioner because of popularity and spending money on positive/ negative propaganda campain.

    You need a city manager that can manage multiple departments with a strong command of a budget and a finance director that can manage mutiple budgets like Bunnell has now.

    No real change required there!

    Politicians run department? Why on earth would you do that?

    What you save in your own cobweb loaded mind of yours will be for nothing, especially when the mistakes start happening because of some rookie politician that may last 2 years in the seat.

    Where is the direction for the department head?

    Also most of these people on the commission have real jobs and businesses so they don’t have time to micro manage a department head.

    Why would any director want to work under that condition!

    As far as the beloved Bunnell PD. Without them you will have every thug from Orland and Daytona camping out in Bunnell to sell to the Palm Coast drugies. Here once again is a Police department that needs continued leadership as anyother .

    My guess is that the Mayor and all commissioners are not getting anything but their way on this one.

    Burke is doing a good job as the second in command. He is comfortable there because it is his job to do. But what’s with all the baggage? Flagle beach PD have not a good thing to say about him. why? what about the missing $100 of donation money? what happened here? The constant rumor of past issues.

    Can somebody come clean on Burke. Like a commissioner with the smarts to ask these questions in the process of interview should Burke get to interview.

    Look if Burke is the best qualified candidate then he gets the job, if not take it like a man and say thank you for your consideration Mr. Martinez and Commissions and go back to your current job. Burke may get a chance to interview because he is an inside candidate. Qualified or not that may be the only time the city may consider an under qualified applicant.

    Let’s not skimp here, get the best you can get. Let’s see who shows up for the job. You must consider every applicant no matter what.

    If you want to get some high school tactic of a pettion to promote someone that may not be qualified please go back to High School. You should not be a commissioner.

    This is for the future of the city and what is needed is a super clean cop that can manage cops and a budget.

    But most of all you must stop the drug situation and you will repair the Bunnell stigma of “Oh Bunnell?” why go there and for what?

    This is a great place let’s get the best cop we can get to be Chief, period………………

  33. Bullgator2410 says:

    Oh yeah, I am all too familiar with a VM who probably has never seen a P&L and runs on the tails of the friends of friends and relatives. I have no cobwebs in my mind, just see things differently than you. Most of our commissioners last way more than 2 years. Rookie Rogers is hitting 2 years and he’s still called the Rookie and I am sure he’s not going anywhere. Elbert is safe and unfortunately so is Jenni, most likely. Now the mayor, that may be a horse of another color, MAYBE. Just in case you haven’t noticed, the drug traffic in Bunnell is probably it’s strongest contributor to the town’s economy, and that’s with the BPD riding up and down Bacher at least 7 or 8 times in a shift. The ‘business leaders’ of that trade do not fear the BPD nor should they. I mean they had the Murray’s working with them, or competing with them for God’s sake. If I were Armando, I would be needing a proverbial chill pill knowing that the Murray’s are about to face the charges in court and after several years, I predict something very unusual will happen. The Murray’s are going to remember even MORE now than they did then about Flynt and Martinez. They have had a hard scrabble two years while everyone else dodged the piles. Just sayin.

  34. the montecito says:


    I see your point.

    The New POLICE CHIEF must do something about the drug situation first and foremose. Let’s not get a happy go lucky guy for chief by petittion but a qualified cop is all I’m say’in too…….

  35. SG says:

    Martinez needs to go ASAP and take some of them smart mouth department heads with him! When is the next city election?

  36. bunnell boy says:

    If you are leaving bunnell please take the city manager with you. Oh by the way make room for the mayor also!

  37. UNKNOWN says:


  38. UNKNOWN says:


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