St. Augustine police chief to retire; new chief named

Chief Loran Lueders to retire in November 2016 after 35 years with SAPD

St. Augustine Police Chief Loran Lueders and Cmdr. Barry Fox
St. Augustine Police Chief Loran Lueders and Cmdr. Barry Fox

With the recent announcement that St. Augustine Police Chief Loran Lueders will retire in November 2016 after 35 years with the department, City Manager John Regan has named Cmdr. Barry Fox as assistant chief, with the intention of Fox succeeding Lueders.

The city made the decision now to ensure a smooth transition over the next eight months.

Under the civil service policies of the St. Augustine police, the chief must be hired from within the department. Of five qualified candidates from within who applied, Regan chose Fox.

“In my discussions with Commander Fox, he demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings and challenges of the department,” Regan said. “He approaches solutions with creative answers and exhibits outstanding critical thinking skills combined with extensive training and education. He has excelled in every aspect of his work and is ready for this new position.”

Fox’s appointment as assistant police chief is effective immediately and will be officially recognized during a ceremony that will include several police department promotions.

“As a former assistant chief myself, I understand the value of having a specific person who is ‘No. 2,’” Lueders said. “Having a person who, along with the chief, is fully aware of every aspect of the department’s operations is excellent preparation to eventually take on the responsibility of chief. That needs to happen from day one to have a seamless transition.”

Fox joined the department in 1993, and over the past 22 years has risen through the ranks from patrol officer to corporal, then to sergeant. He was promoted to commander in 2009. Fox, a graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy, received his associate of arts degree from St. Johns River Community College and his bachelor of arts degree from University of North Florida with magna cum laude honors. Last year, Fox completed the FBI’s Executive Development Training program in Quantico, Virginia, and is currently working on a master’s degree through the University of Virginia.

Over his near quarter century, Fox has worked patrol throughout the city, handled a wide range of criminal investigations, supervised special event services and worked in every area of administrative management of the department. Recipient of numerous recognitions from the department, other law enforcement agencies, and community organizations, Fox is perhaps one of the most familiar and well know members of the department.

Regan said that having five qualified candidates, "Speaks well of our employees and their motivation, and it clearly demonstrates that succession planning is one of the considerations in our strategic planning for the future.”