Eugene B. Gunn 1933-2020 of Ormond Beach, FL
Eugene B. Gunn, 86, was born in Miami, Florida and after 30 years of service within the city of Miami, he retired as an Assistant Chief of Police. He is survived by his dedicated wife of 66 years as well as his four children, Julie Gunn Rezac (Kurt), Michael Gunn (Lourdes), Lorraine Gunn Heller (Josh), and Robert Gunn, four grandchildren, Rachel Agnoli (Andrew), Nicole Heller, Alec Gunn, and Cameron Gunn, and three great-grandchildren, Abigail, Nolan, and Colton Agnoli.
During the summer of 1948, at the age of 15 and while in high school, he enlisted in the Naval Air Reserve and served honorably for 10 years. During his career as a police officer, he advanced in rank through competitive examinations for Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. He was then appointed Major and Assistant Chief by two separate police chiefs.
His educational achievements include an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Miami Dade Community College, a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Adult Education, both from the Florida International University. Chief Gunn’s other educational achievements include graduating from the Southern Police Institute of the University of Louisville, Kentucky and from the First US Army/Local Police Improvised Explosive Devices course at the US Army Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was taught to be a team member responsible for disarming homemade explosive devices. Additionally, he attended US Army Civil Defense Orientation at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
During his initial years as a rookie police officer, he served in the patrol division and then was selected to be a member of the motorcycle unit. As a motorcycle officer, he was a member of the National Championship American Legion Motorcycle Drill Team. This championship team performed intricate drills at the inaugurations of Florida Governors and United States Presidents. The team was invited to perform in Havana, Cuba for President Batista and for President Castro, prior to revealing his communist government.
Along with another officer, Chief Gunn was privileged to escort Vice President Richard Nixon from Key Biscayne to the University of Miami football games at the Orange Bowl. And later as a commanding officer of the Motorcycle Squad, he was requested by the Secret Service to escort President-Elect Richard Nixon from Key Biscayne to the Opa-Locka Airport to meet Mr. Hurbert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie, on their way to the Virgin Islands after losing the 1968 Presidential Race. Twenty-one motorcycle officers accompanied Lieutenant Gunn on this escort. Further, escorts for President Nixon resulted in the President giving each officer a piece of presidential memorabilia.
During his law enforcement career, he served as the Commanding Officer of the Motorcycle Unit consisting of 50 officers, the Commanding Officer of a Patrol Section Shift, the Commanding Officer of the Homicide and Robbery Unit, and the Commanding Officer of the Special Investigation Section, which consisted of the Major Narcotics Unit and the Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit.
In the turbulent years of the 1960s, 1970s, and the 1980s, Chief Gunn was involved in quelling many civil disturbances (riots). And in 1972, in preparation for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions held in Miami Beach, Chief Gunn was appointed by the Miami City Manager and Chief of Police to be Miami’s representative to the Convention Planning Taskforce headed by Rocky Pomerance, the Miami Beach Police Chief. In this assignment, Chief Gunn was empowered to commit Miami law enforcement personnel, and related equipment and prisoner holding facilitators to the overall effort.
In 1973, Chief Gunn was elected to be the President of the Dade County Association of Chief of Police.
Also in 1973, Chief Gunn was selected to be part of the New York Police Department’s Officer Exchange Program, where he worked in various NYHPD divisions. This assignment received college credit from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
After his retirement in 1984, Chief Gunn worked for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Criminal Justice Standards and Training Division where he visited various police associations in Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties. Later, he served a one-year contract as Lieutenant Colonel with the Broward County Sherriff’s Office.
Upon completion of his law enforcement career, he took pride in and love to build the family’s second home and boathouse on Lake Rabun in North Georgia’s beautiful Appalachian Mountains.
Donations in honor of Eugene’s memory may be made to the Scholarship Fund of the Miami Police Veteran’s Association, PO Box 291121, Port Orange, FL 32129.