Greg Feldman, a Flagler County resident and a retired Assistant Chief of the South
Miami Police Department, was recently awarded a lifetime membership in the
Florida Police Chief’s Association (FPCA) at their winter conference in Orlando.
The honor recognizes his 20 years of active membership with the organization, as
well as over 40 years of law enforcement service.
How did it make you feel to receive the recognition? It was a very rewarding acknowledgement of over 40 years in the profession, including over 20 years in senior management. I felt grateful for the efforts of the Florida Police Chiefs Association to bestow this honor upon me.
How has LEO changed from your day to now? I started at the end of one decade (1960’s) and stopped at the beginning of another (2020’s), so I have worked in law enforcement in parts of 7 decades! The advances in equipment and technology have been nothing short of amazing. When I started, the only documents were done with pen and paper. Patrol cars rarely had air conditioning. Power windows were an equipment fantasy. We carried revolvers, not the current, safer weapons. If you were lucky, your agency had 3 pound two way radios to carry. But overall, people respected our efforts and appreciated the work.
What advice would you give someone considering a career in law enforcement?
If you have a family to raise, consider staying away from the large metro areas and work in a smaller jurisdiction with some measured growth. It may be a little quieter but your family will ultimately thank you for it. And you must realize that law enforcement is a calling, not just a job. Yes, you work and are compensated for that, but, if it’s just a job you will never truly appreciate the role you play in today’s society. I used to remind the folks that after five and all weekend, law enforcement is the only visible arm of government on the streets, so carry that role with honor.
Do you have a favorite memory of your time serving?
So many, but one that has always stood out is, many years ago, a group of us were having breakfast at a local diner in the town that I worked. A gentleman came up to us, looked at me and at another officer, and asked if we recognized him. Neither of us did. He smiled and gave us his address and said, “you did CPR on me”. That was around 1976 and I still remember it.
What were your dates of service and where?
1968-1970, University of Oklahoma PD
1973-1975 Northwestern University Public Safety
1975-1979 Northfield IL PD
1980-2005 South Miami PD
2007-2013 West Miami PD
2018-2020 Flagler County SO
BONUS: What did you love most about being in law enforcement?
This is a really tough question. The camaraderie and closeness of your fellow agency members is huge. They become your extended family. And the knowledge that occasionally, at the end of the day, you had the opportunity to help some one during a challenging situation, and may have made it a little better.