Chief Richard Hawthorne began his law enforcement career in 1984 at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department. There, he worked for two and a half years as a patrol deputy before moving to Gulf Breeze Police Department. During his tenure at the Gulf Breeze Police Department he has worked his way through the ranks; to include the Patrol Division, Investigations Division, and Administration prior to being appointed Chief of Police in 2016. Chief Hawthorne was the agency’s accreditation manager from 2005 until 2017. He has served as an assessor and team leader for CFA for 10 years, participating in numerous mocks and onsite assessments.


Chief Hawthorne has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Troy University and is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Troy. He is also a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy Session #207.


He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida FBINAA, and Gulf Breeze Sertoma Club.


He is married to Teresa and has two sons, one daughter and two grandchildren.

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