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Monday, Dec 22, 2014
Pasco Tribune

Retiring officer devoted to kids

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NEW PORT RICHEY — It didn’t take Brian Moyer much time to ponder over a career highlight.

In 29 years as a deputy and serving at least four sheriffs, he’s seen a lot. But his service has always been about children in the community.

Moyer, who recently retired from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office as a captain, looks back fondly on his time as a school resource officer.

“With a brand new program, we were kind of learning on the fly and the opportunity to work with kids and develop what we have developed was really rewarding,” Moyer said.

In his 29 years with the agency, Moyer, 52, helped lead the charge in the county’s School Resource Officer program. He was one of the first two SROs to ever walk a high school campus in the county when the program started in 1987.

He spent nearly 2 years as the Ridgewood High School SRO.

Standing within earshot of the conversation, Cpl. Creg Bell was a student at Ridgewood while Moyer was there as a resource officer.

Bell, who oversees Safety Town, a miniature city off State Road 52 designed to teach children different safety methods, said Moyer’s personality remains the same.

“Even back then, he was clear-cut, professional,” Bell said. “He had the reputation of someone who meant business, but he was a nice guy. So when I came here to work at the sheriff’s office, he was here, and it was kind of like a homecoming. And he has that same reputation here at the sheriff’s office — he’s very professional, always kind, but he demands a lot of the people who work for him. He pushes them to excellence.”

Moyer has served in a variety of positions since joining the sheriff’s office in 1984. During the time he was in charge of the SRO program, it twice was named the best SRO program in the state.

He also oversaw the development of a school crossing guard program, which he helped grow to more than 50 crossing guards.

That program, in 2002, was named the School Crossing Guard Program of the Year by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

In 1991, Moyer was tabbed to help further develop Safety Town. He joined its board of directors in 2008.

“It was definitely a blessing to be able to serve on the prevention side,” Moyer said. “Law enforcement can be a very negative, depressing job. And when you only are seeing the revolving doors of justice play out, it’s difficult. So to be able to work in prevention, to try to work with kids and keep them out of trouble and give them positive things to do, that was very, very encouraging. That’s what kept me going through the years.”

County commissioners honored Moyer recently, reading a resolution commending him for his 29 years of service.

“I just got on the Safety Town counsel and I wish I had been able to be on there longer,” Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said. “I’m so impressed with, in the short amount of time I have been on there, your dedication.”

Law enforcement was always in the back of Brian Moyer’s mind growing up.

As a Gulf High School student in the 1970s, he was a member of the first class of Pasco Sheriff’s Office Cadets, now called the Explorers.

He almost chose a different path in life, but he couldn’t escape the long arm of the law.

“I started going to college and actually started moving more toward journalism,” Moyer said. “But I ended up deciding to go to the police academy… and started working with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and never wanted to be anywhere else.”

edaniels@tampatrib.com

(813) 371-1860

Twitter: @EDanielsTBO

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