History

The Town of Orange Park was established in 1877 and was a river port along the St. Johns River.

The town had a Justice of the Peace until 1961 at which time they hired the first Chief of Police, Marion Card, who served until 1962. After Chief Card’s departure they hired Chief Carl Joines, who served the Town of Orange Park until his retirement in 1973.

In 1973, the Town hired Chief James H. Tillman, a retired police officer from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office who served the Town until 1984. He went on to serve as Mayor on the Town Council.

Chief Dalton Bray, a former FDLE Agent was hired in 1984 and served until 1988 when he ran for and was elected Sheriff of Clay County.

Chief John C. Nelson was appointed Chief of Police in 1989 after retiring from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He served 33 years with JSO and worked his way up to the rank of Under Sheriff. Chief Nelson was a riding partner of James Tillman at JSO who encouraged Nelson to apply for the position in 1989. John Nelson retired in 2002.

Chief James H. Boivin joined the police department as a patrolman in 1977. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1981 and Lieutenant in 1986. In 2002, he was appointed the Chief of Police for the Town of Orange Park. He was the first to rise up through the department ranks to become the Chief of Police. Chief Boivin served the Town of Orange Park Police Department for 35 years until his retirement in 2012.

Chief Goble is the second Chief of Police to start as a patrolman and make his way to the top to earn the title of Chief of Police. Chief Goble started in 1993 as a patrolman; he was promoted to Sergeant in 2001 and became the Lieutenant in 2011. After Chief Boivin’s retirement in 2012, Chief Goble was appointed the Chief of Police.

The Orange Park Police Department’s first headquarters were built in 1956, at this time the building had a holding cell which held prisoners until they could see the Town Judge each morning. The building was expanded in 1974 and the holding cells were removed in 1985. The new Public Safety building was finished in 2004 with many updated amenities.