Frank Rubino took a job as a Longboat Key Police Department captain in February 2013 and began driving 62 miles each way to his home in Charlotte County. In January, he bought a home in Sarasota to be closer to Longboat Key.
“I just knew this was it for me,” Rubino said. “This is home now.”
Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming agreed with both Rubino’s personal and professional decisions to make the surrounding area his home; he promoted Rubino to deputy chief of police April 14.
The department’s second-in-command said he couldn’t be happier to be Cumming’s right-hand man.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,” Rubino said. “The level of service we perform here makes it enjoyable to be here, and it’s where I want to be. I’m proud to be on a force that cares about its citizens the way it does.”
There is not much Rubino hasn’t done in his 33 years of law enforcement.
A machine gunner in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1977 to 1980, Rubino entered the police academy in 1980 and moved to South Florida.
Rubino began his career as a police officer in 1980 in Tamarac before joining the Plantation Police Department in 1983 and climbing the ranks there.
Over the next 21 years, Rubino worked his way up to commander of the bureau as a captain.
He retired in 2004 as commander of investigations and moved his family to Port Charlotte.
Retirement wasn’t for Rubino, though. He began working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Fort Myers region in 2004 as one of seven regional intelligence agents, gathering intelligence about gangs and human smugglers.
Rubino also worked with Cumming at FDLE until 2009, when Cumming left for Longboat Key.
When he visited Cumming on Longboat Key a few years ago, he says he remembers thinking he would like to finish his career working as a Longboat Key police officer.
“Working in a community like this with a bunch of knowledgeable police officers is a dream job,” Rubino said.
As administrative captain, Rubino carried out the orders of the police chief.
Now, Cumming and Rubino are investigating the possibility of creating an un-paid unit of certified reserve police officers who would work a minimum of 16 hours per month.
The reserve officers could help the marine patrol division, help control parking events, assist code enforcement and perform other services, Rubino said.
Since the police department increased marine patrol surveillance in the last three months, Rubino said there have been no marine thefts.
Rubino is also hoping to start a crime-prevention program this summer to combat scams that affect the elderly.
“There are 33 scams that affect the elderly directly,” said Rubino, who hopes to start meeting with condo associations next month to make them aware of the scams. “We need to protect our citizens as these scams increase.”
Rubino’s duties (see sidebar above) may have increased, but he said the department’s objectives have not.
“Being a presence in the community and providing a service that no one else does is our top priority,” he said.
In an April 15 email to the Town Commission, Town Manager Dave Bullock noted that the move doesn’t create any new positions. Rubino’s captain position has simply been changed to the deputy chief position.
“Frank has proven himself to be highly reliable, very energetic and dedicated to the improvement of the community,” Bullock wrote.
Rubino’s salary increased from $70,720 to $80,662.40 annually as a result of the promotion.
Deputy Police Chief Frank Rubino
Family: Wife, Linda; two daughters, Kimberly and Krystal
Hometown: Long Island, N.Y.
Hobbies: Boating, fishing and golfing
Interesting fact: Rubino worked as part of a “Dateline NBC” sexual-predator sting a few years ago.
Deputy police chief duties
A sampling of the department’s second-in-command duties include:
• Overseeing day-to-day operations
• Overseeing police dispatch, marine patrol, records and the license plate-recognition system
• Overseeing police officer, records management and staff training
• Serving as acting chief of police in the chief’s absence
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected]