John Dopp, Sheriff’s Detective, Union Leader and Fierce Advocate, Promoted to Corporal
FlaglerLive | June 22, 2016
Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre on Tuesday promoted Jon Dopp, a 10-year veteran of the force most recently assigned to the detectives’ bureau, to corporal. In that role, Dopp will be one of the supervisors of the road patrol division’s squads, supervising six to 10 deputies.
The county is divided into two squads—north and south. A corporal is assigned to supervise each and is responsible for ensuring that procedures are followed, citizens’ complaints followed through, and deputies provided the resources they need to handle any given situation.
“I’m appreciative, definitely looking forward to the new challenges of the position,” Dopp said in a brief interview today.
The sheriff does not promote arbitrarily. Rather, candidates for promotion—or, say, for assignment to the detectives’ bureau or other special assignments—take a written test then sit for an oral board, or an interview with a panel of several individuals, some of them at times from outside the sheriff’s office to ensure objectivity. Based on the results of a combination of the two hurdles, along with the applicant’s experience and record, candidates are ranked. The sheriff then makes the appointment. Even then, the union contract with the sheriff’s office requires him to limit his pick to the top five candidates.
For all the criticism leveled at the sheriff over his personnel decisions over the years, his appointments and promotions from within have stuck to the relatively objective approach, with appointments favoring the results of the process rather than favoring those who might be perceived as supporters or political backers.
Dopp, 30, was hired at the sheriff’s office on February 6, 2006, a release states, and since has served in the Neighborhood Services Division as a patrol deputy, field training deputy and on the Crime Suppression Team. He was selected to join the Investigative Services Division and has since served as a property and major case detective.
He is a fierce advocate for law enforcement officer and has not hesitated to voice his ideas or opinions on behalf of law enforcement, squarely stepping in the fray of the last years’ controversies over police shootings of unarmed men to provide the police perspective. “We will not be victims,” he wrote in 2014 in these pages, in a piece re-printed by the Jacksonville Times Union. “Our principles won’t allow us to be so. Our desire to go home to our families at shift’s end is too strong. Cast stones and question tactics. Poke us in the eye with your jokes. Mock us behind our backs. That, we can take, as we have for a long time. But don’t expect us to be victims.”
He was among the featured speakers at the sheriff’s annual May ceremony commemorating fallen officers.
Dopp is also the vice president of the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association, the union representing law enforcement officers in the region and at the sheriff’s office. Though his supervisory role may occasionally create conflicts—as a corporal, he is responsible for meting out disciplinary measures when necessary, and as a union representative he’s responsible for defending an employee through disciplinary procedures—his role in the union is unchanged. “If there were ever a situation where there would be a conflict of interest because I’m involved, there’s three other reps who cans step in and separate me from the situation,” Dopp said.
The union is hosting tonight’s forum featuring all nine candidates running for sheriff, including Manfre. The forum is at the Portuguese-American Club, at 1200 Palm Harbor Parkway in Palm Coast, starting at 7 p.m.
“Jon is an outstanding deputy and I am honored to promote him to corporal,” Manfre was quoted as saying in the release. “We have also had the best working relationship with the union under Jon’s leadership.”