Leading law enforcement in Holmes Beach for more than 19 years, Police Chief Jay Romine has announced he will leave the job.
He announced his decision by letter to Mayor Carmel Monti Dec. 7. His last day will be Dec. 20.
“It’s tough to walk away from my employees,” Romine said. “I’ve got a lot of good employees. Our name is known all over. We have a great working relationship with the county and state.
“I want to stress the fact that it was my decision. Nobody else’s,” said Romine. “It’s just time. I know in my heart, it’s time.”
Having spent the past 25 years with the HBPD, Romine said Dec. 10 he’s exploring options, including teaching at Manatee Technical Institute Law Enforcement Academy in Bradenton.
As far as his replacement, the city charter requires the mayor to appoint a new chief with the commission’s concurrence.
Romine officially entered the Florida Retirement System Deferred Retirement Option Plan in August 2011 and could remain until July 2016.
Second in line behind the chief, Deputy Chief/Lt. Dale Stephenson also entered DROP the same day.
Romine began his career with HBPD as a part-time patrol officer in 1979, advancing to patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, lieutenant, assistant chief and chief, a post he was appointed to by then-mayor, the late Pat Geyer, in 1993.