Interview with August Eugene Hambacher January 20 1989

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Interview with August Eugene Hambacher January 20 1989
Hambacher, August Eugene ( Interviewee )
Terrell, Betty ( Interviewer )
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Florida Highway Patrol Oral History Collection ( local )


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
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This interview is part of the 'Florida Highway Patrol' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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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 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?

AEH: Oh,

BT: He was with

AEH: Yes, he was a supervisor at the'Dade County Station. Elmer



BT: Sergeant Elmer Brown?

AEH: ah....

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 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

$15,000, $16,000.

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

basic items.

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


AEH: Six.

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, "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?

AEH: Right.

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

Hillsborough County.

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

would vary.

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?

AEH: Yes.


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

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

dramatic too.....unk......

BT: You are speaking about the college ... in

St. Augustine?

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

peace.... unk......


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?


AEH: Right.

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 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 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

stick shift?


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: 53?


AEH: Yes.

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

$75.00 bucks.

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?

AEH: Yes.

BT: Did the Department buy very many at that, of that model, do

you recall?

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

since retired.

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 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 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?

AEH: Eighty-six.

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

four years.

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

comes along.

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.