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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
my name is Betty Terrell. We are at the
Florida Highway Patrol Station, Bradenton. The time is 2:00
p.m. This interview is for the FHP Oral History Project.
As you know, the FHP will observe its 50.th anniversary this
year, 1989. This interview will establish your knowledge
and your input into the past history of the Patrol. Please
give me your full name for our files.
AEH: My full name is August Eugene Hambacher.
BT: What date did you start with FHP?
AEH: October 15, 1952.
BT: What was your rank or position at the time of your
AEH: I was Captain.
BT: Where were you born?
AEH: Detroit, Michigan.
BT: When were you born?
AEH: December 30, 1925.
BT: What did you do for a living prior to becoming a trooper?
AEH: I was a city police officer with the city of Miami.
BT: Where did you go to elementary school?
AEH: In Kansas City, Missouri.
BT: Where did you attend high school?
AEH: In Kansas City, Missouri.
BT: Did you go on to college?
AEH: I did not. I entered the Navy as soon as I was out of high
BT: Okay, you were in the Navy as soon as you finished high
school, are there any outstanding military experiences that
you would like to tell us about?
AEH: None, I was very mundane, just routine procedures.
BT: Chief, what were your reasons for becoming a highway
AEH: As I said, I was -a city police officer and a Sergeant Brown
was my next door neighbor in Miami and I would ride with
him occasionally and I become enthusiastic about the
traffic enforcement in the Patrol and after a period of
time of talking to him, I put in an application and was
accepted. At that time there was a period in my life that
I enjoyed traffic and working accidents. That would seem
like a logical progression.
BT: Sergeant Brown, do you remember his full name?
BT: He was with
AEH: Yes, he was a supervisor at the'Dade County Station. Elmer
BT: Sergeant Elmer Brown?
BT: Approximately, what was your starting salary at the time
you entered the Patrol?
AEH: The best I can remember, seems like I took a slight
reduction in pay...it was about $275.00 per month.
BT: What was your ending salary and rank?
AEH: My rank was Captain, the salary, I believe was about
$15,000 a year. I am a little vague at that point, around
BT: Where you ever an examiner with our Department?
AEH: No, I never was.
BT: What FHP training school were you in and what location?
AEH: I could not give you a number but it-was at Eglin Field.
BT: But you don't recall..
AEH: I don't remember the number of the class.
BT: You don't remember the year?
AEH: Yes, it was in 1953.
BT: 1953 and it was Eglin Field?
AEH: Eglin Field.
BT: What were the courses you were given while in training?
AEH: Obviously the law of evidence, court procedures, accident
investigations, first aid, firearms training, some report
writing, to name a few, but it was not 500 hour
requirements like there is now, but it was basic police
subjects. That's about the best I can remember, geography
was very important.
BT: Would you describe the physical training given?
AEH: The physical training was minimal. The length of school
that we went through was approximately a month.
BT: This was in training, the physical training?
AEH: The physical training was other than just some exercise and
close order drill, there wasn't any actual physical
BT: How long was the training given?
AEH: As I recall, it was a little over a month. It was a short
sort of school. Just about all of us that had attended
that had been on for about a year working the road, and
there was a group of recruits that came out and we were
sent to school.
BT: Describe the uniforms issued when you became a trooper.
AEH: Long sleeve cotton shirts- for summer wear, and a lighter
ounce as far as trousers are concerned and the summer hat
was a visor type similar to that the police officers wear
and the winter uniform was Stetsons with the wool shirts
...the wool makeup shirts and a heavier count on the
trousers, and a jacket, I don't recall the ...similar to an
Eisenhower jacket. Then we went to the cotton shirts to
the wool shirts and the Stetson. hats when the uniform
BT: If the uniforms changed during your career, describe the
AEH: Well, there were several changes, the first one was going
to the summer Stetson as opposed to the visor type hat and
then further on, there was the short sleeve shirts were
starting to be issued for summer wear. They did away with
the cotton shirts when they went to the nylon type
fabrics,......unk........and the jackets were changed
several times ...type of jackets and at one point in time,
we were issued like a dress ...dress blouse which saw very
little wear except for inaugurations and things like that.
That's the biggest changes in the uniform.
BT: What equipment were you issued upon your graduation?
AEH: Complete uniforms and a revolver and then when we reported
to the troop, that was when we left the school and then we
were assigned an automobile, and your accident
...unk.... kit, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and other
BT: Who were the persons in charge of the training?
AEH: Captain Jay Hall is the ....unk...for the school and there
were several troopers came in, Jimmy Dickens was on the
staff, Major Keith who was at that time a lieutenant,
instructed driver license which was a subject that I didn't
touch on. And ...unk......there were others that taught,
Karl Adams had a large block as far as laws of evidence,
and I don't remember very many others.
BT: Were there dropouts from your training school?
AEH: As I recall, I do not believe that we lost anybody. Ah, I
don't remember .....we lost several not too long after they
BT: After they reported to the field?
AEH: I don't remember anybody that was washed out in school,
ah..there might have been one or two but I don't remember.
BT: During your career with FHP, how many duty stations did you
BT: Following training school, where was your first duty
AEH: In Hillsborough County, Tampa.
BT: What are some things you remember occurring while stationed
AEH: I guess the most significant ..maybe not the most
significant but I can remember is we started a midnight
shift during the latter part of my time there, I was there
from 52 to 55, 1955 and other than being extremely busy we
had an awful lot of accidents. There is nothing that
really stands out in my mind as occurring during that
period of time. Just routine police functions.
BT: You said they started midnight shifts?
AEH: They started the midnight shift on kind of a voluntary
basis and was not an official statewide thing, we started
doing it on the weekends.
BT: In Hillsborough County?
AEH: In Hillsborough County.
BT: Were you the first to volunteer?
AEH: Oh yes, to the best of my kfiowledge.
BT: You said there were a lot of accidents?
AEH: Yes, we investigated a lot of accidents, there was a county
patrol, the sheriffs county patrol and they worked them
but there was a volume of traffic and there was a
variety.of officers to work them so you got called out a
great deal in the evening, the night after you got home.
BT: After Tampa, where was your next station?
AEH: The next time was at my request, and I transferred to
Clearwater, I went there in "55 and I stayed in Clearwater
until .1959 and that was when I made corporal.
BT: Anything you remember about Clearwater?
AEH: There was no station when I first went there, there were
four troopers ( Pinellas County), there was one in
Tarpon, I was in Clearwater and there were two in St.
Petersburg. There was not even a station. We worked out of
the Tampa station But along
1956, I believe it was, "56 or "57, the Patrol rented
office space on Gulf-to-'Bay -oulevard and set up a
substation where we used to turn our reports in.
Ultimately, a dispatcher would relay the dispatches from
BT: How many dispatchers did they have?
AEH: I believe it was four. I believe it was four, I don't
remember the troopers having to work the radios very often,
like in Tampa, we had to work frequently but seems like
there was an adequate number of operators to handle the
dispatch duties. We might have had to fill in occasionally
on a day off...
BT: You said you made corporal and went to Clearwater?
AEH: Nope, ....in "59 when I made corporal then I was
transferred from down there to my next duty station.
BT: You were a trooper though in Clearwater?
AEH: I was there, I was a trooper.
BT: Who was in charge of ..after they started opening the
station in Clearwater?
AEH: They put supervisors in,. the first was Bill Floyd who was
the sergeant and he was subsequently promoted to first
sergeant and Bill Allen, Sergeant Bill Allen was the one
that was there when I transferred.
BT: When you left Clearwater?
BT: And from Clearwater where did you go?
AEH: I went to Palatka as a corporal.
BT: You were promoted while you were in Clearwater and
transferred then to Palatka?
AEH: Promotional transfer, I was field supervisor of three
counties, I had St. Johns, Clay and Putnal and I was
stationed there until 1963.
BT: When you were in Palatka, who was your troop commander?
AEH: Troop commander started out with Captain Hancock, he
retired and Captain Prater then was the troop commander the
rest of the time I was there.
BT: And after you left Palatka, then-where did you go?
AEH: Then I made sergeant in "63, I was transferred back to
Tampa and I stayed there until 1969.
BT: When you came back to Tampa, who was the lieutenant in
charge of the Tampa station?
AEH: Lieutenant, in charge of the Tampa station, was Spud
Clements. And at that time before they broke the districts
up, the Tampa station was responsible for Pinellas County.
BT: Did they have a station in Pinellas County by then or were
they still renting this?
AEH: No, by then, they had their own station in Pinellas Park
and that was the district office there.
BT: Again, how long were you in Tampa?
AEH: Well, I went back there in "63 and I was there until 1969.
BT: 1969 and then you went where?
AEH: At that point, I made captain, they started giving tests,
so I was fortunate enough' to -make enough score to be
captain, promoted and transferred to Tallahassee.
BT: How long were you in Tallahassee?
AEH: I was there one year.
BT: What was your position in Tallahassee?
AEH: In Tallahassee, I was head of motor vehicle inspection.
BT: Troop M?
AEH: Troop M.
BT: And then you left Tallahassee and came where?
AEH: To Bradenton, Captain (Jake?)....Raulerson and I swapped
positions...I wanted to get out of MVI in the worst way and
he wanted to get closer to North Florida so we had a
lateral move and I assumed the duties here as troop
commander. When I was returning to Tampa in 1963
....unk....I made lieutenant there in 1966 and I stayed
there. I was still stationed there in Tampa and right
after that, the order was passed that we went from a six
day work week to a five day work week which had a dramatic
affect on the operation of the Patrol as far as scheduling
coverage and things like that. Ah, also..during that time
the homicide, the traffic homicide program was started and
there were troopers that were assigned to work the
homicides and of course, they were kept extremely busy in
BT: Alright, when you were a trooper in Hillsborough County,
how many troopers were there?
AEH: There was about seven, there was six, then seven, they
BT: Then when you made sergeant and came back to Tampa,
approximately how many did you have then?
AEH: We had about 14.
BT: About 14?
BT: Any rememberance while in Troop F that stands out in your
AEH: Probably one of the most dramatic things was when Trooper
Baker was killed. In fact that was the first time that I
had been working with a person or one of the officers that
was killed as a trooper. This had a very dramatic affect
on me as well as all the other troopers. Back during my
second time when I was in Tampa when they started the SWAT
teams or Riot Control.....Riot Squads.......unk......in
fact just prior to the formation of the Riot Squads, of
course, during the St. Augustine unrest, Trooper ...unk
...........were going and troopers from Tampa .....unk....
we would go up for a week and come back. This was quite
BT: You are speaking about the college children....kids ... in
AEH: This was basically a racial confrontation, the old slave
market and Martin Luther King was down....Mrs. Peabody the
mother of the Governor of Massachusetts and there were
counter-demonstrations, rock throwing,....unk..... throwing,
vandalism and of course, we were there trying to keep the
BT: Do you remember approximately what year that was, when
those riots first started?
AEH: It was in approximately 1964.
BT: Approximately '64?
AEH: I think it was '64, there again for details, my mind has
slipped some, I believe it was '64, Bobby Kilgo was my
corporal and he and I would rotate going up to St.
Augustine. I would go up, he would stay here and we would
swap places. Back during the time that I was in Tampa,
there were several others things that I didn't mention,
probably of value, the promotional examinations were
started and then also at the same time, the five-day work
week, which I had mentioned before, that became effective
January 1, ..1966 and then also, in '65 we used to have the
red lights for emergency signals and the State of Florida
adopted blue lights as the police emergency vehicle
BT: Your first location was Tampa....what were the living
conditions at that time?
AEH: At that time, I was stationed in Tampa, there were bunk
rooms in the back where officers could...if you had the
radio duty or night duty, you sleeped in and responded to
the telephone calls. And when the new station was built,
they were phased out. The new station was exactly started
in 1966 and of course, when the new station was built, they
eliminated the lodging facilities in the station. It was
kind of nice at the time because when I came here my family
was still in Miami and that gave us an opportunity for a
place to stay until you could look for accommodations where
you were being transferred. A lot of the stations around
the state did have the bunk rooms.......facilities for
sleeping, which made it nice.
BT: Chief, let's revisit the conversation about the Tampa
station and the bunk beds and so forth.
AEH: Sure, I said some of the stations, not all of them, but a
lot of the stations had accommodations, they would be bunks
and also shower facilities and troopers when they were
assigned on details out of their territory, could utilize
these facilities and in my case, when I first went to Tampa
and my family was in Miami about a month, I stayed in the
Tampa station and was also used when an operator was on
duty, a trooper had to work to-give him an opportunity to
sleep where the operators at that time and would
have....unk.......respond to' the--phone. And if a trooper
was on duty, and got a call, he would come in there and
spend the night.
BT: The trooper on call that was before midnight?
AEH: Yes, this was before the midnight shift was started.
BT: And for instance, we'll say Gasparilla Detail, would you
have several troopers staying there that would be in Tampa
for the Gasparilla?
AEH: Yes, there would probably be some that would go in and stay
there..... a lot of them stayed in the hotels but it was
always available to them if they wanted to utilize the
facility at the station.
BT: How long did you stay there in the Tampa station before
your family came to Tampa?
AEH: About a month...give or take a day.
BT: And then you got your own home for you and the family?
BT: You want to tell me a little about your first home in
AEH: Well it was extremely small, it was up on the northwest
side of Tampa, just a ..probably had a low medium class
...unk...good neighbors, convenient to stores and things.
BT: What about the home, air conditioning and those things?
AEH: No air conditioning, it had a fan....unk....windows
open....it was a real strange little house, but it was
convenient and it was relatively inexpensive and of course,
the salary you made at that time it was very necessary to
buy inexpensive accommodations.
BT: Did you buy your first home, or did you rent?
AEH: No, we bought...
BT: You bought your first home? Ah, approximately what was
your payments? I am assuming
AEH: Yes, it was $45.00 a month...
BT: It was $45.00 a month for your house payment?
AEH: Right, two bedroom, one bath.
BT: That was pretty cheap.
AEH: Yes, that was not bad, ...yes, that's what I say, you had
to find something cheap and that's what it was. Ha Ha
While I was in my second tour of Tampa, just prior to
making captain, Colonel Kirkman retired. Of course, most us
fellows, ........unk........make up of the Patrol...He was
a grand old man.
BT: Chief, would you describe the changes in the equipment
through the years, first let's talk about the cars?
AEH: Ok, well my first car was a 1951 Ford straight stick with
overdrive transmission and had about 90,000 miles when I
got it, and I think my next car I got was a '53 Ford and
after that point, I was really fortunate in getting new
cars about every year, along about 1957, I think it was
about '57, they took the lights off the top, we went to the
spot light with the red lenses at that time and we used
them like that for several years, then we went back to the
top mounted blue lights and other equipment stayed
basically the same. Air conditioning came along and in the
early cars, we didn't even have a heater. unk.....with
the Ford that I got, I went down and bought a used heater
to put in it because it was an extremely cold winter.
BT: That was the first patrol car?
AEH: Yes, old beat up patrol car, yes, '51 Ford.
BT: First old beat up patrol car?
AEH: Yes, it had 90,000 miles on it when I got it. But we
always managed to obtain heaters and things ...so I did buy
an old beat up heater and put in it. And along about 1956,
I believe it was, they started getting cars with air
conditioning, which made it nice.
BT: And heaters?
AEH: And heaters, obviously yes. And they purchased the first
aid kits and things like that we ordered. There is no
change in that.
BT: What about transmissions? You said the first one was a
AEH: Right, and the second one was a sEick shift, a '53 Ford..
BT: Have any problems with your transmission?
AEH: They were subject to go out, your clutches mostly. Lot
of....unk....problems. The '56 was the first car that I
had that had an automatic transmission. It was nice but we
didn't think it was as fast or anything....
BT: Did you ever have any transmissions to go out on your cars?
AEH: Not on my own personal cars. I was on a detail in Miami
and I had Lt. Prater, we were in Lt. Prater's car, and I
was chasing a vehicle down SR 7 and the transmission went
out and of course, you could say he was unhappy, But we
got it fixed, this was a stick transmission, the
overdrive, you know.
BT: Yes, approximately what was the year and make of that car?
AEH: That was a '53 Ford.
BT: Was it fairly new? Was that the reason he got upset?
AEH: Yes, absolutely, Lt. Prater took a great deal of pride in
his vehicles, and so I was very much reluctant to tell him.
BT: You said you got it repaired, approximately back then, how
much did it cost to repair a transmission?
AEH: Repairs on that one seems like it was minor, like about
BT: Paint jobs on the patrol cars back in those days, did they
hold up good or have problems with the paint jobs.
AEH: For the most part, no, I don't remember having any problems
with any peeling or rusting, fading, that type of thing.
Of course, you took a lot of pride in your car and mine got
waxed frequently, which might have been part of it.
BT: You waxed your car?
AEH: Yes mam, washed it every morning and waxed it, waxed it
about once a month, whether it needed it or not.
BT: You said Lt. Prater was unhappy'about you tearing up his
transmission, did he write you a letter of reprimand or did
he give you a verbal reprimand?
AEH: No, he didn't give me any written letter of reprimand, he
just indicated displeasure by tone of voice. But the nice
thing about it, he didn't stay mad.
BT: What kind of side arms were you issued at the time of your
retirement, what were you issued?
AEH: Well, my original issue, when I first came on, was a .38
caliber colt and it was relatively in good condition,
somebody had taken good care of it. And I don't recall
exactly, I believe I had one other issue before I was
issued a .357 magnum and I carried that .357 magnum until I
retired at which point it was issued to me when I retired.
BT: What was the make of this .357 that you were
AEH: It was a Smith and Wesson.
BT: Chief, I went back and did a little research on your
revolver also. I noticed that it was a model 66.
AEH: That indicates it was stainless steel.
BT: Stainless steel?
BT: Did the Department buy very many at that, of that model, do
BT: I know we still have some model 19's that are in use and
the model 27's, but the model 66...
AEH: I don't remember buying too many, I really don't and I
don't even remember the circumstances upon which I took
that one. Seemed like, I think I was down here as a troop
commander, it was after 1970.
BT: After coming to Troop F?
AEH: After I came to Troop F I got that .357. The gun that I
had that I retired with, was a .357, I still use it now as
a backup gun still being active in law enforcement, it's
just like new. As we are sitting here and reminiscing of
things that do have a dramatic affect on everybody, in
1964, when President Kennedy was assassinated, I can
remember clearly I was asSistinig a trooper with a very
serious accident and a man stopped that heard it on the
radio and gave us the information. It was a very memorable
occasion. That was 1963 ....unk.....1964. I had not been
back in Tampa very long.
BT: Okay. Who among your fellow troopers and supervisors made
the greatest impression upon you?
AEH: Probably, of course, he was never my supervisor but one of
the men I had the most respect for was Lee Simmons, he was
Inspector and Light Colonel. I always had the highest
regard for him,.now retired Captain Jimmy Hill. He is in
Palatka at this time, Chief of Police up there. I would
say that those two are the most significant ones that I
have the very high esteem for them. One of the other
administrators that also, that I had a lot of respect for,
who was extremely competent was Inspector Reddick, who has
BT: What do you see as the greatest differences in FHP as it
was during your time and as it is today?
* AEH: Probably, as we are sitting here reminiscing, when I first
came on the Patrol, there was very specific physical
requirements in regard to height, weight and you had to be
5 ft. 10 1/2 in. when I came on and of course, the weight
appropriate to your height which I guess that still
prevails but now of course, the stature and the ladies
which during the majority of my time on the Patrol, there
were no lady troopers and very, very few minority troopers,
in which now there are obviously there has been quite a
change as far as the hiring and the opportunity for the
ladies and other minorities.
BT: Generally, tell me.how you look upon your career with the
AEH: I look back with a great deal of pride and an honor being
fortunate enough to put my time in and retire with the rank
of captain. The Patrol was extremely good to me and I felt
like I worked 100 percent, the maximum that I could while I
was there. I felt like the Department was good for me and
required my loyalty. I think that it gave me a way of life
that I am very appreciative of.
BT: After long service in many areas of the state, you were
promoted to commander of Troop M, tell about the start of
this unique troop and some of the problems encountered.
AEH: First, the Troop M had been Tn existence before I was
transferred there, it was already a formulated troop and
all its office policies and procedures were established,
and captain, then Major Reynolds had been a captain and I
took his spot when he was promoted. Of course, one of the
problems with the way it was set up and it was not a
problem, but it was set up this way, the state is so large
with a mix of state operated and private enterprise trying
to get equality in service or equality in inspections
throughout the state, and this was one of the largest
problems we had. We had policing problems as far as
different inspectors and trying first to take a car to one
place, having it turned down and then going to the next one
and having it passed and this was a problem that was
reoccurring, that and of course, the lines started forming,
that being the reason it was finally abolished was the fact
that the citizens just got disgusted with the long lines
basically, along with the "the difference in the caliber or
the quality of inspection". And of course, this was a
large state trying to get around and cover it. I would
anticipate probably some form ...unk....a return to motor
vehicle inspection. This was already done after the fact,
I think six of the counties....
BT: That are inspecting now?
AEH: No, I don't know if they are set up now but they will be
set up for the emissions.
BT: Do you know what counties this is?
AEH: I think Hillsborough, it is the ones that have the high
counts of the pollutants in the air, Dade, Broward,
probably Palm Beach, Duval County. Manatee county would
not be affected, of course. But the biggest thing, it was
really no big problem, it was a real challenge in there for
covering the state, getting around visiting all the
different inspection stations. Occasionally, we had a
problem with an inspector, making an investigation on the
case but there was a good group of fellows working with
me....It was a very rewarding year but I was extremely
happy to get back into traffic.
BT: During your career, you served under a Captain I. Olin
Hill, are there any outstanding memories of that time?
AEH: Well, obviously, first Captain Hill was known throughout
the state as a very strong disciplinarian and a strict
constructionist as far as policy but I guess the
outstanding thing that I remember is he would frequently
travel from Lakeland, where tkrop headquarters was, to
Tampa and you better make sure that there was a patrol car
on US 92. That was before interstates and all that.....92
was the main route to travel through Tampa and Lakeland and
he wanted to see a car out there and there better be one if
he came across it.
BT: Well, if you didn't know he was coming, how did you know to
have a car out there?
AEH: Well, ha ha, you were just hoping, we generally had one,
that was our ...unk... to our main road so we generally had
a car on 92.
BT: That was the main highway?
AEH: Occasionally, he came through when there was not one and of
course, I know the lieutenant heard about it.
BT: 92 was the main highway from Lakeland to Tampa?
AEH: Yes, that was back before the building of the interstates
and of course, 60 was a little two lane, real bad condition
road...so most of the traffic did use 92.
BT: Anything else you remember?
AEH: I enjoyed working with Captain Hill, he did a day's work,
didn't bother you, let you do everything and he was real
good to me about patrol cars and details so I had no
problem with Captain Hill.
BT: After retirement you continued in your career in law
enforcement and December 17, 1975, Mayor-elect Toby Holland
of Palmetto announced that he had chosen you as his choice
for Chief of Police and at that time, you said that you had
decided to retire from the Patrol and would accept if
approved by the City Council. On January 5, 1976, the City
Council unanimously approved you and you were immediately
sworn in and I believe, January 2, 1976, was your last
working day with the Patrol. Tell me about your years as
Chief of Police in Palmetto.
AEH: Well, I have mixed emotions when I retired, my first wife
at that time was in extremely ill health and I had to be
with her a great deal of time and I felt like taking a
chief's job, not having to travel like a troop commander
was required, I could be of assistance to her and of
course, I retired January 1st and' she passed away in
March,.......unk....and I stayed in Palmetto and I stayed
there and retired from there July 15, 1986, and I had a
very enjoyable ten and a half years with Palmetto...had a
very supportive city council and we had a real good little
department. When I did retire July 15th, I assumed the
position with the sheriff's department.
BT: Chief, it has been said numerous times that you turned the
police department around. How do you feel about that
AEH: Well, we did assume a new direction when I went over there
and I was fortunate having Patrol experience and I
proselytized a lot of the Patrol's policies and procedures
and I guess the first thing I did when I went in was change
uniforms, get some pride in uniforms and establish policy
in regard to the type of weapons which we started issuing
and then I proselytized some of the General Orders and
adapted some, using some of the Patrol's and some that were
appropriate from Palmetto and we developed a General Orders
Manual and we tried to establish a promotional examination
which I also used a lot of the Patrol's policies and
procedures as far as promotions were concerned and of
course, there was a period of time this did have an affect
and seemed to elevate it a little bit more towards
professional status in the police department. First, like
I said, I'm fortunate to-have ha-d the benefit of being with
the Patrol and being able to carry this over and let them
benefit from it, the Patrol's experience.
BT: How many policemen did they have when you took over?
AEH: When I went in there, I think there was 13...15 policemen
when I went in there and when I left, there was 27.
BT: And did your radio operators and clerical staff have change
AEH: Well, of course, the uniforms for them and we had some
training and we established a chief dispatcher. Again,
there were some imitation, a.sincere form of flattery, ha
ha, so we did do a lot of things that the Patrol did.
BT: I know personally there was a big change in that department
because I can remember before you went there and then the
changes that took place afterwards and it, the image did
change and it was for the best ...
AEH: We went out there and recruited some people, I think we
brought the quality of the officers up.
BT: I think you put pride in that department too, and again, I
know you had the support of the Council and Mayor Holland.
AEH: And the citizens.were also, you know they were real good.
BT: Right. How many years did you serve?
AEH: At Palmetto?
BT: As Chief?
AEH: Ten and a half years.
BT: Ten and a half years, you retired again in what year?
BT: Eighty-six. When Charlie Wells was elected Sheriff of
Manatee County in 1984, he wanted you to come with him as
undersheriff and at that time, you weren't ready to leave
the Palmetto Police Department. Later you did leave
Palmetto and go with Sheriff Wells, what date was that?
AEH: Well, my last work day with PalMetto was July 14th of '86
and I started the next morning with Sheriff Wells.
BT: Tell me about your time so far with the Manatee Sheriff's
Department. You are the undersheriff, right?
AEH: Yes, that's correct. Obviously it is extremely busy from
like 50 employees to 540 and this involves people problems
and there is just a lot more going on obviously in a county
operation, more crime, got more employees, got more people
you have to deal with and its been a challenge but I have
to say that I enjoy it, well I still enjoy coming to work
and the sheriff being an ex-trooper, a lot of the things
that we have done in the sheriff's department, when he was
there prior to me going with him, have become molded a
little bit after the Highway Patrol procedures, and it has
been good, good for the county because I feel like now, the
sheriff's department has advanced a great deal in the last
BT: What is your responsibilities as undersheriff?
AEH: As undersheriff, I have, well, when the sheriff is gone, I
serve as the sheriff. I have al'" the hirings and firings,
personnel actions, the disciplinary actions, coordinating
any activities with three different bureaus, representating
the sheriff's department at various functions of other
departmental governmental agencies and civilians. Just
generally making yourself useful, ha ha, with whatever
BT: Chief, I want to thank you for taking this time because I
know you are a busy person today and for taking the time to
give us this interview for the FHP Oral History and we
appreciate the time that you have given us.
AEH: Thank you Betty, it was kind of painless....its always hard
trying to delve back into your memory but I appreciate the
Director asking me to participate and I appreciate the way
you handled it and hope that someday, of course, like I
told you going in, my memory is not all that great for some
of the minor details ...or for some of the big details for
that matter. But its, I have enjoyed it.
BT: We thank you, we really do, we appreciate it.