DAYTONA BEACH – Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly was presented with an award for leadership and community engagement by Bethune-Cookman University on Friday. The honor was part of the 6th Annual Florida Historically Black Colleges and Universities (FL HBCUs) Law Enforcement Luncheon.
In announcing his reception of the award, media personnel at Staly’s Flagler County Sheriff’s Office highlighted diversity statistics such as the highest-ranking Black employees in the agency’s history, both for a man and woman. Both the Division Chief in the Law Enforcement Division and Commander in the Court and Detention Services Division are Black, as described by the FCSO’s release.
Staly also took part in the Florida HBCUs Law Enforcement Career Symposium on Friday, in which he and other law enforcement leaders had the opportunity to meet and recruit students from B-CU and other HBCUs in Florida. 350 students were in attendance at the Daytona Beach event.
“I am honored to be among the law enforcement professionals recognized today,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Building a strong relationship between our agency and our community has been incredibly important to me since the day I became Sheriff. This recognition is a testament to our partnership with BCU that we greatly cherish.”
Among the most notable forays into Black issues for Staly came in 2020, after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. “I am shocked and saddened at what I saw,” Staly said of the viral video of Floyd’s death. “The conduct of the officers involved are inconsistent with the best practices of today’s professional law enforcement officers.” Several Black Lives Matter protests were organized in Flagler County in the fallout, and Staly’s deputies were present to ensure the safety of protestors for the duration.
Staly and the FCSO are hoping the symposium will further increase diversity within local law enforcement. “I believe that our efforts to keep our community safe are strengthened by reflecting the diversity of our community,” he continued. “This event was a valuable opportunity to engage with students from our state’s HBCUs as we work to grow our agency and reflect our community.”