This city has a new face leading its police force today, but he’s not so new to many residents.
Keith Touchberry, who’s lived here since 2002 and spent the past 24 years with the Vero Beach Police Department, takes over as police chief.
He replaces Scott Melanson, who retired after serving seven years at the helm, and 19 years with the department.
Touchberry, a North County resident since 1990, said he’s excited to begin working within the community, and is looking forward to bringing his diverse law enforcement experience to Fellsmere.
“I’ve done so much in my career,” said Touchberry, who is 49. “I was a canine handler; worked in the detective division; spent time on patrol; handled accreditation; and served as bureau commander for both the operations and support bureaus. It has really helped prepare me to become police chief.”
One of the first tasks Touchberry wants to accomplish in his first week as police chief is meeting individually with each of Fellsmere’s police officers. The department has nine full-time officers, one part-time officer, support staff and a crossing guard.
“I want to ask them where they think we are as a department and where should we head,” Touchberry said. “I’ve met with Scott and all of the officers collectively, but I really want to spend time with them individually and hear about some of the things they would like to see implemented.”
Also at the forefront of Touchberry’s first few weeks is the selection of a new police car for the department.
“We’ve got a vehicle that we need to purchase right away,” Touchberry said. “Since Ford is no longer offering the Crown Victoria, we have to pick a vehicle that can shape our fleet for the future.”
With his new job in Fellsmere, Touchberry said he’s pleased he and his wife, Kim, and their children, Austin, 18, and Lauren, 16, can remain in Indian River County.
“I am looking forward to partnering with the community of Fellsmere,” Touchberry said. “And being part of Jason Nunemaker’s team and helping him achieve the vision for Fellsmere.”
Original article appeared at https://www.treasurecoast.com/fellsmere-police-receives-excellence-in-policing-award/