Meet Lake Mary’s new chief of police: Steve BracknellLake Mary Life Magazine | Lake Mary, Heathrow, Sanford, Longwood | Learn more about your community online.
...Meet Lake Mary's new chief of police: Steve Bracknell
Lake Mary's new police chief Steve Bracknell
is one of those rare people.He always wanted to be a police officer and the high school internship he spent with the Orange County Sheriff's Department cinched it for him.Shortly after graduating from Colonial High School in 1977, he joined the police academy and knew he'd found his professional home.After graduating from the academy, he spent 18 years with the Winter Park Police Department.
Ironically, it was Lake Mary's former Police Chief Richard Beary's father who hired Steve
for his first job.
With a career that has stretched from street patrols to working with the Drug Enforcement Agency
, you might expect a gruff and grizzled veteran of the streets; Chief Bracknell
is anything but.He
is disarmingly friendly, the type of person who greets you with a hearty handshake and a pat on the back. In August 2001 Chief Bracknell was back in uniform, but this time working for the Lake Mary Police Department.
"I was originally brought on to run their accreditation program," he
explains.His responsibilities with the Lake Mary Police continued to grow until July of last year, when Chief Beary left to head the police department at UCF, and the City Commission appointed Steve Bracknell as the new police chief of the Lake Mary Police Department.
But for Steve
and Deborah, that's very nearly true.They have known each other since they were about two years old.I didn't like her
much back then," Steve laughs. Deborah doesn't let him get away with that: "That's because I could beat you in baseball and football back then," she
"A lot of our friends were into things back then that Deborah and I didn't agree with," says Steve
."So we just started hanging out together and after a while we were with each other all the time."So marriage was inevitable, but it was not without some conflict."Initially my family was a little upset.I would have been the first in my family to go to college," says Deborah, who is quick to add: "I wouldn't recommend getting married instead of going to college for everyone, but it worked for us."However, once their daughter Nicole was born, both Steve and Deborah earned bachelor's degrees.Steve continued his education, earning his master's degree in criminal justice.
Deborah has built a successful marketing and management company, IMMC
, which specializes in helping struggling businesses.In addition she
also writes the Lake Mary Neighborhood blog, which is part of the Neighborhood Blog program for Orlando Sentinel.com
.Deborah admits that her
reporting on the City can make her
husband's job uncomfortable at times, "but I try to give him a heads-up.