Bunnell City Manager lays out plans for new city hall, police station

BUNNELL, Fla. — The City of Bunnell will soon have a new police chief, city hall, and police station.

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Former Police Chief Tom Foster officially retired Monday after serving as chief for eight years.

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During his tenure, Foster says he reduced crime by 22-percent, had a 49-percent case clearance rate, and pushed continued training and education for his officers.

However, a disciplinary letter sent by the city the same day Foster announced his retirement claims he spread rumors the commission and mayor wanted to get rid of the department, and told his own officers the city manager couldn’t be trusted.

Foster has been replaced by former Lake Helen Police Chief Mike Walker, who will now oversee a department of 12 employees with an annual budget of approximately $700,000.

City Manager Dr. Alvin Jackson, Jr. says he thinks Walker can fix the morale issues in the department.

January 4, 2022 Press Conference

City of Bunnell Press Conference January 4, 2022 at 3:00pm.

Posted by City of Bunnell on Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Walker says he plans to tackle the city’s crime rate while implementing programs like citizen patrols and neighborhood watch groups.

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“My goal, and what I’d like to see for Bunnell in the future is to be one of the top-rated cities in the United States,” Walker said.

The City Commission is expected to approve Walker’s appointment on January 24.

Standing behind a podium Tuesday, Dr. Jackson Jr. announced future plans for the city of 3,400.

Jackson says they’ll build the new police department and city hall on Commerce Blvd. Both facilities have recently suffered from water damage and mold.

It’ll be the third time the city has had to relocate its operations since 2009, but Jackson says he hopes it’ll be the last.

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“We had some challenges in our existing city administrative building, and once that was brought to our attention, we immediately relocated the staff,” Jackson said. “We are in the process of relocating the police department.”

The city hopes to have the new facilities built by the fall of 2023.

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