Beloved hometown cop moves on to new position at PSO
Zephyrhills’ loss is definitely Pasco County’s gain.
Former Zephyrhills Police Captain and Zephyrhills native Reggie Roberts has resigned from ZPD to take a new position with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.
The beloved officer, who served as the department’s second-in-command behind Police Chief Derek Brewer, resigned Jan. 28 from ZPD and started his new position Monday with Pasco Sheriff’s Office as the Inspector of Community and Talent Development.
“I had a great time in Zephyrhills,” Roberts said. “This is an opportunity. I’m not going anywhere. Zephyrhills is in Pasco County. I’m not going to stop serving that community. I plan on getting involved in certain ways that I couldn’t because of the position I was in.
Zephyrhills has a strong place in his heart. He is one proud Bulldog.
“I always said I love the community,” Roberts said. “It isn’t about the bricks and mortar, but about the flesh and blood of the city. It’s about the people who make up that community. That’s what it’s about. My mom still lives there. My aunt is still there and everybody else. I will always be a part of that community.
“When I got promoted to Captain in the community I grew up in, that meant a lot to me. I think I made some amazing relationships and partnerships. Being from Zephyrhills, it was just like reaching out to friends. That’s exactly what the community does.”
According to Amanda Hunter, PSO Public Information Manager, Roberts will lead the efforts in recruiting talent for the Sheriff’s Office. In addition, he will be working closely with the department’s community relations team. He will also be overseeing the Explorers’ program, customer service units Safety Town.
“Obviously, he has had a long career in law enforcement as well as being very involved in his community which is something we definitely value especially in his role as community and talent development,” said Hunter. “He has all sorts of great connections with our community, which is who we serve, so that is always an advantage from a Sheriff’s Office perspective.”
ZPD has big shoes to fill and it is a task that Chief Brewer wishes he didn’t have.
“I don’t think I could overstate his value,” said Brewer. “He provided a level of reassurance not only to me and other staff members. For me, he was a great partner and that’s how I viewed it. We did this job together.
“The void is not just in the police department. It’s in the city and the community. I don’t know if you fill those shoes. You can try, but I don’t think you can find someone like him to fill those shoes.”
Brewer tried to measure Roberts’ value last year when he recommended to City Manager Billy Poe that Roberts be promoted to a new position of Deputy Chief of Police. That move was never made.
Chief Brewer also realizes that younger officers in the department just lost a mentor and an incredible leader.
“He can be stern and come down on you, but our staff realized that it was for their best interest,” Brewer said. “He brings education, wisdom and experience to a department that has veterans and a lot younger officers. I learned from him every day.
“As his friend, I can’t be more excited for him He deserves to be recognized for his value. He did a lot for the city, but I can’t blame a person for wanting to improve themselves. I wish him luck as friend, but I’m disappointed we’re losing him.”
Roberts, who has a Master’s Degree in Law Enforcement, is working on his Doctorate from St. Leo University.
He came home to Zephyrhills to be the head coach for the ZHS Bulldogs in 2010. That move aimed him in the direction of ZPD after serving as an investigator with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. At ZPD, he was part of the reserves and quickly moved into the role of detective sergeant. He moved up the ranks.
Now, it’s time for a new adventure.
“It’s very exciting,” Roberts said. “I see an awesome future.”