A native of Bradford County, George Paul “Gordon” Smith, graduated from Bradford County High School in 1985 and began his law enforcement career in 1986 with the Florida Department of Corrections. He then joined the Starke Police Department in 1987, moving to the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office in 1990. 1999 brought a change for Gordon when he was selected as the Assistant Police Chief for the Starke Police Department and in 2001; he was elected to the position of Chief of Police for the City of Starke. In November 2008, after successful service as a Police Chief, he was elected as the Sheriff of Bradford County. Sheriff Smith completed his A.S. degree in 1999 from Vincennes University and is a Graduate of the FBI National Academy, 240th Session.
He is a State of Florida certified instructor in Firearms, Chemical Weapons, Officer Survival, D.A.R.E. and PPCT Impact Weapons. Sheriff Smith has completed numerous hours of executive training in leadership and management, such as Florida Sheriffs Executive Training (2008), National Sheriffs Institute of Executive Management and Training (97th Session), Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Advanced Chiefs Training (2005), Florida Police Chiefs Executive Development (2002), Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Chief Executive Seminar (class 26), Federal Executive Development Training (1999) and many others. Further, he has advanced training and attained certificates in the areas of Homicide Investigations, Criminal Interviews and Interrogations, Hostage Negotiations, Sex Crimes Investigations and National Incident Management Systems, to name a few. Sheriff Smith and his wife, Stefanie live in Starke, Florida and are the delighted parents of daughter Hailey and son Hayden.
Eddie Boatwright is the Chief of Staff of the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office. His position is charged with the oversight of daily operations at the sheriff’s office. Specific duties include command of the criminal investigations division, internal affairs, narcotics task force and the special operations tactical unit (SRT). Other command duties include personnel, purchasing, finance, payroll, information technologies, communications, 911, mapping, code enforcement, warrants and federal grants programs. Captain Boatwright is a lifelong resident of Bradford County and graduate of Bradford High School with 33 years of law enforcement experience. He began his law enforcement career at Lawtey Correctional Institution and working part time at the Lawtey Police Department as a patrol officer. The 16 years preceding his appointment to the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, he worked with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Captain Brad Smith is the Chief of Operations for the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office and oversees Patrol, Civil Process Services, Victim’s Advocacy and School Resource and Security. A returning son of Bradford County natives, Captain Smith finished high school in Miami, graduated with his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminology from Florida State University and received his Master’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. In 2001 during his master’s studies, Captain Smith was selected to participate in a criminal justice study abroad program in Russia. Additional studies sent him to the prestigious FBI National Academy (2012) and Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville (2003). In 2009 Captain Smith completed the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Florida Executive Development Seminar and in 2010 he completed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Chief Executive Seminar. His law enforcement career started in 1990 at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office where he served for over 16 years, attaining the rank of Lieutenant. While there, he experienced a variety of assignments such as; Patrol, Bicycle Patrol, Canine, Patrol Supervisor, District Commander, Warrants Unit Commander, Regional Domestic Security Task Force, and Public Information Officer. He moved to the Starke Police Department in 2007 where he was assigned as the Public Relations officer prior to joining the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office in January 2009.
Captain Carol Starling became the Jail Administrator for the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office in 2007. As the Chief Administrator of the Jail, she is responsible for all aspects of jail operations, including but not limited to security, classification, and healthcare of inmates. Her areas of responsibility also include oversight of Judicial Services, Animal Control, and the Sex Offender Unit.
Captain Starling previously served with the Florida Department of Corrections in various capacities; including assignments as the Warden at both female and male institutions. Among her assignments while with the Florida Department of Corrections she served as an Investigator, Investigator Supervisor, Regional Trainer, and as the Correctional Services Administrator over Security in the Region II Office. A certified instructor for over 20 years, Captain Starling taught Corrections Basic Recruit and Criminal Justice Career Development courses at Gateway College and Central Florida College – including the high liability areas of firearms training and defensive tactics. Captain Starling has received training in many areas of security operations including leadership, female offenders, youthful offenders, jail management, government operations, and has also completed the Florida Executive Leadership Development Program presented by the FBI National Academy. Due to her many years of service to the criminal justice system, in 2008, Captain Starling was recognized by the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency for her dedication and many contributions to the Law Enforcement Community.
Lieutenant Denny Thompson, also a native of Bradford County, graduated from Bradford High School in 1988 and began his law enforcement career with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in 1994. While at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office he worked as a Deputy Sheriff in the Patrol Division and as Administrative Sergeant in the Corrections Division where he supervised the Booking, Classification, Judicial Security, Training, Transport and Warrants Units. Additionally he is qualified in the 4th and 8th Judicial Circuits as an Expert Witness in Latent Finger Prints, testifying on behalf of the state in criminal cases. He currently supervises the Finance and Human Resources Divisions of the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office. The Finance Division is tasked with budgeting and analysis, payroll, accounts payable, forfeitures, grant application and reporting, cash management, purchasing, supply and inventory.
The Human Resources Division is responsible for each members hiring, training, employee benefits and equipment needs.
Lt. Thompson is committed to ensuring the citizens of Bradford County receive the highest level of law enforcement available.
Lieutenant Michael “Mike” Rathmann manages day-to-day jail security operations. He has an extensive and diverse career of over 40 years in the criminal justice field. After spending six years in the U.S. Air Force in law enforcement and corrections, he worked as a supervisor for a private security company in California. In 1975 he moved to Florida and worked briefly in retail security at the Orange Park Mall. He then began a 30 year career with the Florida Department of Corrections, progressing through the ranks from correctional officer to warden, Statewide Security Administrator and eventually to Assistant Secretary for Institutions. After a brief retirement, Lt. Rathmann returned to the Department of Corrections as Warden of Florida State Prison. He also spent 24 years as a part time criminal justice instructor at various community colleges and vocational-technical schools, certified in General Criminal Justice areas, Human Diversity, Firearms and Interpersonal Skills. Lieutenant Rathmann is a graduate of the Certified Public Manager program at Florida State University and holds dual certification in law enforcement and corrections.
Lieutenant Dawn McKinley began her law enforcement career in 1988 during the administration of Sheriff Dolph Reddish. She has performed in numerous capacities and held various ranks leading to her current position as the Jail Administrative Lieutenant. As Administrative Lieutenant she oversees Court Services, Sex Predator/Offender Unit, Records, Work Crew, and other administrative duties. She has over a thousand hours of Criminal Justice Training. Lieutenant McKinley is a Certified Jail Inspector and a member of the Jacksonville Region CART Team (Child Abduction Response Team). Lieutenant McKinley moved to Bradford County in the early 80’s and is proud to call Bradford County “home.”
Lieutenant George L. Konkel Jr. is the Patrol Commander, supervising all Patrol activities. He graduated from Bradford High School in 1989 and obtained an Associate Degree from Vincennes University in 2001. Lt. Konkel has been employed with Bradford County Sheriff’s Office since 1994 and is dual certified in Corrections and Law Enforcement. Before becoming a Deputy with Bradford County Sheriff’s Office he was a member of the first Law Enforcement Explorer Post in Bradford County. He began his career with the Sheriff’s Office as a Part-Time Deputy and worked his way up through the ranks to his current position. He has received numerous certifications, commendations, and advanced training courses to include: Line Supervision; Field Training Officer; Injury and Death Investigations; Narcotics Investigations; Community Relations; Sex Crimes Investigations; Criminal Interview/Interrogations; and Advanced DUI related courses, to name a few. Lt. Konkel is a graduate of the Rural Executive Management Institute (R.E.M.I.) and was a recipient of the American Police Hall of Frame’s “Life Saving Award” in September, 2011. Lt. Konkel has written numerous grants for the Sheriff’s Office, providing additional funding for various traffic related safety programs. Lt. Konkel lives in Bradford County with his wife and son.
Lt. Russell began his law enforcement career in 1968, serving in three municipal police departments, including Fernandina Beach Police, where he served as an investigator and worked his way through the ranks to fill a role as Assistant Chief. He moved on to serve for 15 years as Chief of Police at the Green Cove Springs Police Department before retiring. He chose to come out of retirement in May of 2006, first working part-time on the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office staff and ultimately accepting a full time position as a Lieutenant. Lt. Russell is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville. He has an Associate of Arts Degree from Vincennes University and an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Johns River State College. He currently occupies the Office of Special Investigations which conducts: Internal Investigations; Pre-employment Screenings & Background Investigations; and manages intelligence information & crime tips. He is responsible for handling court ordered records seal & expungements; various special projects; and additional special investigations or administrative functions as may be required. He is one of three certified Voice Stress Analysts (CVSA) for the agency, conducting criminal and pre-employment lie detector analysis. His level of investigative, technical, and administrative experience lends considerable expertise to the agency.
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