Historic City News was informed today that Assistant Chief of Police Anthony Cuthbert, who has been serving in the capacity of interim Chief, will not be promoted upon the retirement of Police Chief Barry Fox, on June 30, 2021.
St. Augustine City Manager John Regan announced today that he has selected Commander Jennifer Michaux to serve as the next Chief of Police for the St. Augustine Police Department, saying that she has demonstrated critical thinking, vision for community engagement, and officer mentorship among key qualifications for the job.
“Commander Michaux’s ability to think critically and articulate tangible solutions, her vision for the future of the St. Augustine Police Department, and her approachable and empathetic leadership style make her the best fit for the immediate needs of our community as the next Chief of Police,” City Manager John Regan said.
During the interview process, Michaux offered comparative examples of how the department currently operates with specific strategies of how to improve or build upon those operations. Moving forward, one recommendation is to implement a plan that engages officers in the community at their most personal levels through mentoring programs and community volunteer opportunities, such as coaching, or other activities. By determining an officer’s interest and connecting that interest within St. Augustine, members of the community develop a personal familiarity with the officers, which in turn builds upon the foundation of trust that already exists.
Commander Michaux is committed to interagency partnerships that exist with the St. Johns County Sherriff’s Office and the City of St. Augustine Beach. Michaux understands the importance of leveraging these relationships while maintaining our own unique policing identity. When working together, decisions need to be approached with our end goals clearly and transparently articulated that ultimately serve the best interest of the community, along with the safety of officers and the public.
Police Chief Barry Fox stated about Michaux’s selection, “Commander Michaux is a driven leader – she steps up and takes ownership of the modern challenges faced by law enforcement officers today. She shares the current core values relating to officers and members of this community and will be able to build upon those going forward.”
Fox continued saying, “Commander Michaux has taken the lead as project manager of the accreditation initiative and is the direct supervisor of the accreditation manager. Her attention to key details, understanding the hurdles that remain, and how we will overcome them to get accredited epitomizes her commitment to the accreditation process, the members of the St. Augustine Police Department and the community.”
Commander Michaux recognizes the need to be agile and to adapt strategies to confront everything from the loss of affordable housing and employee retention to the need for more psychological services for officer mental health, more social and psychological services for the public, as well as its deployment and relationship to policing.
When talking about communications, Michaux demonstrated the value of benchmarking against other cities and agencies, in particular social media. By looking critically at what our peers are doing, we can evaluate our own community engagement. This may require changing the way we do things, but Michaux made it clear that she is willing to embrace change.
Commander Michaux received an honorable discharge from the United States Navy where she attained the rank of Petty Officer with a rate of Loadmaster. She is a graduate of the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute’s “Executive Leadership” training, is a graduate of the Florida Leadership Academy, and has 25 years of experience in law enforcement with the City. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration from Flagler College.
Commander Michaux began her law enforcement career in 1995 with the St. Augustine Police Department. In her role as Commander, she has supervised both the administrative and operations functions of SAPD. During Michaux’s career with the department, she has served as Sergeant of patrol, Sergeant of internal affairs, and Sergeant of training. Commander Michaux’s experience includes traffic homicide investigator, motor officer, defensive tactics instructor, and field training officer.