Dagsboro police chief honored with surprise retirement salute

Former Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey Jr., left, receives a tribute from the Delaware State Senate courtesy of State Sen. Gerald Hocker. Chief Toomey retired Friday after 32 years in law enforcement, the last 13 at the helm in Dagsboro. (Delaware State News photos by Glenn Rolfe_

DAGSBORO — From cops and robbers to school security and safety of elementary students, staff and visitors.

Floyd Toomey Jr.’s 32-year law enforcement career officially ended Friday, the last 13 years as police chief for the town of Dagsboro.

With the start of the school year, his new job with the Indian River School District is security/safety constable at Phillip Showell Elementary School, not far from his residence in Selbyville.

But before “Chief Floyd” could quietly ride off into the sunset for a brief respite before his new adventure, there was a surprise retirement dinner Thursday at the Bethel Center in Dagsboro.

It came as no surprise that there were tributes from local, county and state levels, offering sincere thanks and recognition on behalf of a grateful community for his service in law enforcement and military service to his country.

Tribute proclamations were presented by State Sen. Gerald Hocker, State Rep. Rich Collins and Sussex County Councilman John Rieley.

One day before his official retirement from law enforcement, Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey waves and cracks a smile as he arrives with wife Anne at the Thursday surprise retirement dinner held at the Bethel Center in Dagsboro.

Sen. Hocker noted Chief Toomey “served with dedication throughout his career in law enforcement,” earned “numerous accomplishments during his tenure” and along the way “has gained respect and high regard.”

The Senate tribute applauded Chief Toomey as an “exemplary officer,” for this “tenure of quality performance in public safety, which will long be remembered.”

The House tribute from Rep. Collins mirrored the Senate proclamation.

“I do want to emphasize all of the distinguished places that Floyd has worked,” said Rep. Collins.

In law enforcement, it started with Delmar Police Department, followed by stints with Laurel, Georgetown and Delaware Capital Police before serving as chief in Ellendale, and then Dagsboro chief, in January 2007.

Mr. Rieley, in presenting county council’s tribute, recognized Chief Toomey’s milestones: Silver Star, Distinguished Service Medal and two Merit Award honors for apprehension of murder suspects. It also recognized Chief Toomey’s commitment to serve and protect his nation with the National Guard, punctuated by deployments to Hawaii, South Korea, Germany, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Among the awards and honors retiring Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey, left, received at a surprise dinner Aug. 22 was a Charter Member Award from the Fraternal Order of Police Sussex County Lodge 2, presented by Lodge 2 president Bob Schappert.

“Floyd Toomey may be leaving the town and local enforcement, but he will continue to serve and protect as a constable for the Indian River School District, safeguarding our children from those who would try to do them harm,” Mr. Rieley said.

Chief Toomey “embodies the values of honesty, integrity and compassion, which have earned him the respect of the town of Dagsboro staff and constituents alike. Through his service and actions, he has forever earned a distinguished place in Dagsboro’s rich history, but most of all has earned a special place in the collective hearts of its citizens,” the county council tribute read.

Chief Toomey received a plaque and a Charter Member Award salute from the Fraternal Order of Police Sussex County Lodge 2.

“You know, in the law enforcement community as a whole, there are many people in the leadership positions that we’ve seen that we’d like to see go, and there are those that we’d like to see stay,” said FOP Lodge 2 President Bob Schappert. “And this is certainly Dagsboro’s loss. It’s the law enforcement and community at-large’s loss, and it’s a family’s gain. It always works out that way for the betterment.”

“We are very proud to have Chief Toomey as a member of Sussex County Lodge 2 because he started with us as a charter member and he is ending with us. I think that’s a world of accomplishment,” said Mr. Schappert. “I will say this to you, and we’ve said it among the board of directors … that we are where we are today because of the footprint that you put down and put forth in your career. We owe you a debt of gratitude.”

On Thursday, the day before his retirement, Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey receives the the American Police Hall of Fame/Distinguished Police Service Award. From left, Chief Toomey, Staff Sgt. Harry Litten, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Disciullo and Lance Cpl. Tyler Bare.

From the Dagsboro police force came the presentation of the American Police Hall of Fame/Distinguished Police Service Award, verifying Chief Toomey “honorably and faithfully served in law enforcement for a period of 32 years.”

That award included a pin and a pinning ceremony performed by Lance Cpl. Tyler Bare.

The town of Dagsboro’s presentation was a lighted shadow box that featured a patch, badge, identification and other career mementos.

The town recognized Chief Toomey for his “many outstanding contributions for more than 40 years of service to the state and nation, culminating in your last 13 years of loyal and dedicated service to the town of Dagsboro. Your leadership, honor and selflessness have truly made a difference. You went above and beyond serving and protecting the citizens of Dagsboro,” said Dagsboro Mayor Brian Baull.

“I really appreciate everybody coming out. It has been a long career. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Dagsboro,” said Chief Toomey, who put a wrap on the festivities by saying he successfully fulfilled two major goals. “One was not to get arrested,” he said.

And the other? “Not to get fired before I retire,” Chief Toomey said. “And I think I have accomplished that.”

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