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Longboat Key Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 11 years ago

Longtime Longboat Key police captain retires


Longboat Key Police Capt. Steve Roehl retired last month after more than 20 years of service to the department and even longer ties to the island.

Before Roehl, 48, became a police officer to the town, he worked at The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort starting at age 16.

Later, Roehl, a Sarasota resident, worked at a small French restaurant on the north end of the island called La Chanti Claire, 7003 Gulf of Mexico Drive, which operated from 1982 to 1988.

Roehl, who retired Oct. 1, attended the Manatee Police Academy in 1989 and accepted a job as a patrolman on Longboat Key and worked his way up to captain, a position he has held for the last 10 years.

Roehl’s most memorable police-department experience was Dec. 21, 2006, when he responded to a call at the intersection of General Harris Street and Firehouse Road to find 25 Cubans standing near the road.

Roehl, who has made many friends on Longboat Key over the years, called up his friend, Luis Ortiz, of Ortiz Landscaping, right away.

“I needed immediate translation and I knew Luis was my guy,” Roehl said. Ortiz received a plaque from the town for his service that day.

Roehl said his career with the town “has been extremely rewarding.”

“My job afforded me the opportunity to provide for my family as well as form lifelong bonds and friendships with colleagues on the Key,” Roehl said.

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