Mon07282014

Last updateTue, 22 Jul 2014 9pm

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Police Chief Holley responds

LTE2012 Responding to public comments is not my policy, however, when my integrity and professionalism is called into question, even by insinuation, by a former member of the department, I feel I must answer.

But first let me answer another question that was raised. Sgt. Harper was advised of the identity of the suspect in the High Springs Community School (HSCS) shooting by Dispatcher Ginger Travers in person at the station. This may be one of the advantages of having your dispatch center close at hand. This fact is documented in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) report and is a matter of public record. Sgt. Harper absolutely knew the identity of the suspect as he left the station and was en route to the school. His story has not changed one iota from the time I had contact with him at the scene until now.

I’m afraid the answer to the last question posed by Ms. Hines is quite simple: It was my day off and I was shopping for groceries at Winn Dixie when Sgt Harper called me, as his Police Benevolent Association (PBA) rep, and informed me that he’d been involved in a shooting. I left the store at a run with my cell phone jammed against the side of my head as I talked to Chuck. I disconnected with him as I made my way to the scene only a few minutes away in order to get the PBA resources on their way to Chuck as soon as possible. My wife, Debbie, was also a PBA rep at the time and handled much of that coordinating.

When I arrived on the scene, I found Chuck and stood by his side, ensuring that his rights were respected in the wake of the shooting, until the PBA attorney’s team could get to the school. I hope this helps to clear up any misconceptions or misinformation that Ms Hines or anyone else may have as to the events of that day.

J. S. Holley

High Springs Police Department