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St. Augustine selects new police chief as Barry Fox nears retirement

Commander Jennifer Michaux has more than 25 years of law enforcement experience. She is also a veteran of the United States Navy.
Credit: City of St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — St. Augustine selected Commander Jennifer Michaux to serve as the city's next police chief.

The city's current chief, Barry Fox, is set to retire on June 30.

Before joining the St. Augustine Police Department, Fox served in the United States Navy. She was honorably discharged as a Petty Officer. She joined the SAPD in 1995 serving as a sergeant of patrol, sergeant of internal affairs, and sergeant of training before rising to her current rank as commander.

She has experience as a traffic homicide investigator, motor officer, defensive tactics instructor and field training officer. 

“Commander Michaux is a driven leader – she steps up and takes ownership of the modern challenges faced by law enforcement officers today," Chief Fox said of his successor. "She shares the current core values relating to officers and members of this community and will be able to build upon those going forward.”

While interviewing for chief, Michaux suggested improvements to how the police department currently operates, including implementing a community engagement plan, according to a press release from the City of St. Augustine. This plan would including mentoring and getting officers involved in community activities like coaching.

Michaux believes this will help police to build on a foundation of trust with the community they serve through personal familiarity with officers.

“Commander Michaux’s ability to think critically and articulate tangible solutions, her vision for the future of the St. Augustine Police Department, and her approachable and empathetic leadership style make her the best fit for the immediate needs of our community as the next Chief of Police,” City Manager John Regan said.

Another focus for Michaux is building closer relationships with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and the City of St. Augustine Beach.

“Commander Michaux has taken the lead as project manager of the accreditation initiative and is the direct supervisor of the accreditation manager," Fox said. "Her attention to key details, understanding the hurdles that remain, and how we will overcome them to get accredited epitomizes her commitment to the accreditation process, the members of the St. Augustine Police Department and the community as a whole.”

Michaux's concentration on community policing goes beyond getting officers into the community, the city said in the press release. She wants to help with community engagement through social media.

Michaux also plans to help officers within the department to confront issues such as affordable housing and officer mental health.