On Saturday morning, five former law enforcement officers from throughout Florida, including a former Ocala Police Chief, were inducted into the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame.
The inductees were first nominated by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Police Benevolent Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and the State Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Association. After receiving the nominations, the inductees were selected by a committee, and then they were approved by Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Cabinet.
Here is a list of the newest Hall-of-Fame inductees:
- Arthur Lee McGehee: At the age of 14, he began working part time for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in 1957. He received his undergraduate education at Florida State University and went on to become a patrol officer for the Ocala Police Department. In 1974, he was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Ocala, where he remained for just over 20 years. Upon retirement from OPD, he was appointed as director of the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, a position he held until his untimely death on September 19, 2000.
- David F. Harvey: His law enforcement career began in 1972 as a parole and probation officer for Franklin and Wakulla counties. In 1976, at the age of 26, he was elected sheriff of Wakulla County. He went on to serve nine terms and retired 35 years later as Florida’s longest tenured sheriff. He helped grow an office of 11 employees and an 18-bed jail to one with 180 employees and a 350-bed jail. The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office also became one of the state’s first rural sheriff’s offices to be accredited in both law enforcement and corrections.
- Henry Neil Kirkman: In July of 1936, he began his law enforcement career as major of the State Road Department’s Traffic Enforcement Division. Three years later, he was appointed as captain of the newly created Florida Highway Patrol. The appointment was due, in large part, to his experience in the United States Army during World War I. Just a few years later, Kirkman was called to serve his country once again as a soldier in the United States Army during World War II, where he was awarded the Legion of Merit medal and achieved the rank of colonel before he retired from the Armed Forces in 1945. After the war, Kirkman was appointed director of the state’s Department of Public Safety, and he held that position until 1969. He then became executive director of the newly formed Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and he retired on February 11, 1970.
- Charles R. Press: He began his 46-year law enforcement career as a police officer with the Miami Beach Police Department in 1975. Retiring as assistant chief after 29 years, he became Chief of Police with the Village of Key Biscayne in 2004. He developed and implemented innovative police management and community involvement programs that received local and statewide recognition. In addition, he served as president of the Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police and on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
- Stephen D. Wayne: In 1991, his law enforcement career kicked off when he was accepted into the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission’s Law Enforcement Academy. Upon graduation, he served as an officer in Okeechobee County and later in Lake County, eventually being promoted to lieutenant in 2003. With his promotion to captain in 2007, he led 30 officers across Brevard, Indian River, and Osceola counties until 2012, when he decided to focus on investigations and became the first full-time port investigator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Governor Ron DeSantis said, “I commend the officers inducted into the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame for their remarkable service and dedicated duty keeping Florida families and communities safe.”
“These hall-of-famers had a clear vision and sacrificed for decades to create the stronger, safer Florida we enjoy today. I am grateful for their commitment to our state and the citizens they served,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.
For more information, contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Office of Public Information at 850-410-7001.