Carrabelle Police Chief Kevin Shuman

Carrabelle police chief abruptly steps down

Carrabelle city commissioners on Tuesday morning accepted the resignation of Police Chief Kevin Shuman, effective March 3.

The commissioners voted unanimously at the special meeting to accept the resignation, which Shuman announced Friday in a letter he wrote to City Administrator Courtney Dempsey.

In his letter, Shuman, who has served as chief for the past 22 months, said he “greatly enjoyed and appreciated” serving the city, and pledged to do everything possible to assist in the transition.

Commissioner Tony Millender moved, and Sebrina Brown seconded the motion to accept the resignation. There was no public discussion at the meeting.

Shuman, who retired from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in 2017, said he has been offered a job, at an entry level pay, by Sheriff AJ Smith.

In an interview following the meeting, Shuman said he had met two weeks ago with City Administrator Courtney Dempsey and City Attorney Dan Hartman, and that they had informed him that three commissioners wanted to replace him as chief of police.

“One (had) said they didn’t feel the job was right for me,” Shuman said he was told. “And that parking and golf cart issues were not handled the right way.”

Shuman said he then met individually with Mayor Brenda La Paz, and Commissioners Keith Walden, Bill Gray, Millender and Brown. 

“The mayor and Commissioner Walden were for keeping me,” said the chief.

Shuman said he was told in those discussions that “I have not done anything wrong, nothing unethical,nothing criminal (but) they just wanted to move in a different direction.”

The chief said that during his two years as chief, he has received no reprimands or disciplinary actions and that there have been no formal complaints filed against him by citizens.

“I thought it better than being terminated for no reason to submit my resignation,” Shuman said. “I would be embarrassed to be terminated for no reason at all.”

In a Tuesday afternoon interview, La Paz praised the chief’s work with the city. “I have enjoyed working with Chief Shuman. I appreciate his ongoing dedication and hard work. In my opinion he did a great job.”

According to a job description, the Carrabelle police chief, who must have or be able to obtain certification by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, 

 oversees all police department personnel, including supervising their work and recommending hiring, and evaluating work performance. In addition to a driver’s license, he or she must have 10 years of law enforcement experience, five years of supervisory experience, and be a U.S. citizen and a high school graduate or equivalent. He or she must not have been convicted of any felony or of any misdemeanor involving perjury or a false statement, and cannot have received a dishonorable discharge from any of the Armed Forces of the United States.

They are subject to a background investigation that includes drug testing, and must have passed a physical examination by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or certified advanced registered nurse practitioner. 

They must “think clearly, speak audibly and distinctly, and take effective action in emergency situations,” reads the job description, which was revised in 2018. 

“While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is regularly required to work in a public safety and law enforcement setting, use standard office and law enforcement equipment, drive a motor vehicle, read printed materials and a computer screen, communicate in person and over the telephone, and distinguish between colors and is frequently required to lift and/or move more than 100 pounds, restrain violent, disoriented, and/or mentally disabled persons,” it reads.

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  1. Seems like someone didn’t get their way. Need to be able to strike up conversation with leaders anytime ask questions with clear answers..

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