One year ago, Longboat Key mourned the sudden death of Police Chief Albert F. “Al” Hogle, who spent nearly a decade molding the Key’s police department.
On May 14, 2012, Hogle died in a motorcycle accident on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
He began his 42-year career in law enforcement with the Sarasota Police Department, where he worked his way up to the rank of captain, before retiring in 1998 and serving for three years on the Sarasota City Commission, including five months as mayor. He served as Bradenton’s police chief for one year before taking on the role of Longboat Key police chief.
In the past year, the community has reflected upon Hogle and his legacy.
Law-enforcement officials from across the state attended his funeral at Robarts Arena in Sarasota.
In July, Mayor Jim Brown declared the Freedom Fest would be named “The Al Hogle Freedom Fest.”
The Longboat Key Club & Resort named its September First Responder Golf Tournament in honor of Hogle.
The town planted a magnolia tree outside the police department with a plaque dedicated to the police chief last fall.
Then, in February, Hogle became the first person to receive the Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key Citizen of the Year Award posthumously.
In the year since Hogle’s death, the community has remembered him for shaping a police department that provides an additional level of service — giving a bicyclist a ride home in the rain, changing a tire or spending extra time with someone who has just lost a loved one.
Town Manager Dave Bullock appointed Police Chief Pete Cumming to the chief position on an interim basis following Hogle’s death. Bullock announced in September that Cumming would be the permanent chief.
Looking back on the past year, Cumming still remembers May 14, 2012, as the worst day of his life. A close friend of Hogle, he was one of five local law-enforcement officials who notified Leslie Hogle of her husband’s death.