GULFPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT
MEDIA NEWS RELEASE
Lt. Robert Vincent
Public Information Officer
2/10/2009 POLICE CHIEF RETIRES
GULFPORT, FL – G. Curt Willocks announced today that he will be retiring from the Gulfport Police Department after serving eighteen years as Chief of Police. In the agency's nearly 100-year history, no Chief has held the office longer.
Before coming to Gulfport in 1991, Chief Willocks (59) retired from the Boca Raton Police Services Department, where he had worked his way through the ranks to become Deputy Chief of Police. After twenty years working on Florida's east coast, Willocks took the job in Pinellas County, where he says the fishing is much better.
In Gulfport, Chief Willocks presided over a major transformation to modern professional standards in law enforcement. Under his leadership, the Gulfport Police Department achieved and maintained state accreditation, and this recognition proved vitally important in upholding the agency's reputation in the face of controversial times in the late 1990's. Chief Willocks was also responsible for ushering major technological changes, including in-car, digital video recorders and computers, as well as Tasers for all patrol officers. He also implemented significant improvements to the selection and training procedures, ensuring that all officers received above and beyond the minimum training required by the state, and increasing education standards for applicants. Now, over one third of all sworn officers in Gulfport has at least a bachelor's degree.
During his career, Willocks served as president of the Tampa Bay Area Chief’s of Police Association, chairman of the Pinellas County Police Standards Council, Director of the Florida Police Chief’s Association, and as a member of the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation.
Police lieutenant Robert Vincent will serve as acting Chief of Police. Vincent, who has been with the agency since 1994, has commanded the department's investigations and support services division for the last six years and is the senior, ranking officer in the department. Interim City Manager, James O'Reilly, will decide on a permanent police chief appointment in the coming weeks.