Chief Romine receives award from PBA
SUN PHOTO/PAT COPELAND
Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine shows the award he
received from the PBA for his service as chairman of the state's
Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.
HOLMES BEACH – Police Chief Jay Romine was presented with a special award by the Police Benevolent Association for his service as chairman of the state’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.
“I didn’t see it coming,” he said. “I was humbled and surprised. It really meant a lot to me, and I felt like I had accomplished something. It ranks as one of the top awards I’ve ever received.”
The award states, “On behalf of the PBA, thank you for the fairness and integrity you have shown as chairman of the CJST. Your leadership is an example of how labor and management should work together to ensure that officers are treated fairly and that our communities are served by only the finest officers.”
Romine was appointed to the CJST by Gov. Jeb Bush and has served on the board for eight years. He has been chair for the past three years.
“At my first meeting, I was shocked at the personal attacks,” Romine recalled. “It was union versus management, and I figured that I couldn’t do it very long. I thought we should look at each case and make the best decision we could.
“In my eight years, I’ve seen a change. What we’ve been able to accomplish is to promote a professional air of civility in how we conduct ourselves. I tried to drive it in that direction because I felt it was my responsibility.”
Romine said the CJST has two functions – to establish training standards and curriculum for new recruits and existing officers and to oversee disciplinary action on moral character violations.
“We decide on sanctions on their certification from probation to revocation,” he said. “It’s a quasi-judicial hearing. We have to decide which ones are lack of judgment and which ones are serious moral character flaws.”
He said at the last meeting, the board had 300 cases for which to prepare, but typically only about 25 or 30 officers show up to have their cases heard.
“It takes a lot of time and effort, but we owe it to them to prepare,” he explained. “It’s their career. It’s one of those commissions that allow you to make a difference. Our goal is to have honest ethical officers serving our citizens.
“It’s been a great experience. I’m glad I did it, and I’m grateful to the city for encouraging me to do it.”
Romine also has served as president of the Florida Police Chiefs’ Association for two terms and president of the Tampa Bay Area Police Chiefs’ Association and is currently chairman of the advisory board at the police academy and chairman of the Manatee County Law Enforcement Council, a group he founded in 1997.