Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri was selected for the Association of Florida College’s LeRoy Collins Distinguished Alumni Awards in the category of Hometown Hero.

He will receive his award along with three other award recipients at the AFC Statewide Conference and Gala Nov. 7 in Palm Harbor.

The Association of Florida Colleges Inc. is the professional association of the 28 public institutions of the Florida College System, their boards, employees, retirees and associates, and the employees of the Division of Florida Colleges.

The criteria for the Hometown Hero category the nominee must have achieved a measure of success within the nominating college’s district, demonstrated notable community involvement, must show a clear, relevant impact of their college experience on the nominee’s success and they must attend the 2019 AFC Presidential Gala Dinner.

“It’s a great honor, especially being associated with such a great higher learning educational center as Daytona State College,” Chief Capri said. “Any time you get nominated for awards is nice, but this is a little bit special because Daytona State is where I started my career. I am a two-time graduate.”

DSC is important to him and the community, he said. “I just love being involved with Daytona State. It’s one of those anchors in this community that’s been here for a long time that is going to continue to develop future leaders, future police officers, future business people.”

It was an honor just to be nominated, he said.

“It just goes to show all the hard work has paid off,” he said. “I think Daytona State is a great gem in this community where anybody can go in this community and get a college degree at Daytona State. There’s no excuse not to get a degree with this great educational facility right down the street. Anybody can achieve their goals and dreams if you just stick to a plan and get education. Education is such an important piece to success. Higher education will open a lot of doors for you.”

In recommending Chief Capri, DSC President Dr. Thomas LoBasso wrote, “It is my distinct honor to nominate one of this community’s finest citizens, Craig Capri. There are many individuals and organizations that we partner with, but as the chief of the Daytona Beach Police Department, Mr. Capri is a true partner with DSC in every sense of the word. As a 1989 graduate of DSC’s Law Enforcement Academy, he exemplifies an officer’s commitment to serve and protect the community, and he also represents a genuine example of what graduates of the Florida College System can achieve.

In 30 years as a public servant, Chief Capri has worked in every major division within the police department, including patrol, criminal investigations and narcotics, and even a new Advanced Technology Cybercrimes Unit that targets sex crimes and white-collar criminal activity, such as identity theft.

“He is an avid supporter of the college and is committed to pass on core values and high standards of service to a generation of new recruits as an adjunct instructor in DSC’s School of Emergency Services,” Dr. LoBasso said. “It is his firm belief that Daytona State and an educated citizenry play an integral role of any vibrant and growing community.”

Chief Capri joined the Daytona Beach Police Department in 1990. He worked his way through the ranks and was sworn in as police chief in January 2017 where he leads a force of some 450 full- and part-time police officers and civilian employees.

Information submitted by Chris Tomes, DSC director of marketing and communications, noted the chief also has initiated an Unmanned Aerial Systems unit with plans to buy two drones, primarily for search-and-rescue operations. Also, the department is among the first in Florida to make body cameras a standard practice for patrols.

Chief Capri returned to DSC and earned an associate of arts degree in 1997, and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Central Florida. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum's Senior Management Institute.

He is active in the community, working with high schools and neighborhood watch programs as well as the Police Athletic League.

Chief Capri also was named the DSC Alumni & Friends Association's Alumni of the Year.

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