~May He Rest In Peace, Leon County Florida, Sheriff Larry Campbell ~
Sheriff Larry Campbell, a Sheriff who always had an open door policy. When we first met with him on our local towing issues, we found ourselves in a room with a man who was honest about what he did or didn't know when it came to the towing industry. After being addressed as 'Sheriff' a few times, he was quick to say to "Call me Larry" followed by the words every citizen and industry in a community would love to hear: "IF NOBODY TELLS ME THERE IS A PROBLEM, I CAN'T FIX IT SOMETHING I'M NOT AWARE OF, SO TELL ME WHAT IS IT CAN DO TO HELP YOU"? He was good at using jokes to calm the nerves of the people in the room. When Danny stated he knew wreckers were just a small part of what the Sheriff's Office did, he smiled his big smile and couldn't pass on a chance to brag on his horse, even got the picture down and passed it around, followed by, he doesn't ride his horse to work, as far as he knew, neither did others in Leon County, added by, since anyone on any given day may need help from a tower, he needed to be made aware of any problem with the towers who may come in contact with any motorist in Leon County.
This meeting was shortly after a few show had become hits, by towers having to use trickery and violence to complete a simple tow. As the member's of T.O.W.S. (Tallahassee Owners Of Wrecker Services) had feared in advance, our industry was about to attract those who wanted to become towers in Leon County, not to help motorist in need, because they thought it was a modern day wild, wild west, tower's doing as they pleased, falsely thinking we didn't answer to any higher power than those who signed the pay checks.
Sheriff Campbell was very humble, as we told others who were not in the meeting with us "HE HEARD AS WELL AS HE LISTENED" As soon as he was told there were no laws in place to rid Leon County of any man with a truck from coming into our County the day after being released from prison or jail, for a sexual crime involving a child, a violent crime or grand theft his first reaction and words out of his mouth "I WON'T HAVE THAT HERE, I'LL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TOO PUT A STOP THAT"
He let us know step by step all the changes that would have to take place, he had the LCSO Wrecker Administrator double check to make sure none of these 'outlaws' had been included on the counties rotation list. As soon as the commission had voted and approved the first changes, by using a stop gap order, our roadways became safer. The message was loud and clear, a few left on their own, others found out in a hurry, this was not an area they wanted to come to. Fingerprints were taken of each and every driver of a towing unit, all owner's of towing companies who are dispatched for crashes, roadside services or abandon vehicles'. Others had mention giving the city and county time to work together to update the wrecker rules, one day longer without protecting motorist in the county he was the sheriff of, was one day too late for him.
Prior to his passing, he made sure LCSO has a full time wrecker unit, along with a full time wrecker administrator, who's job is to keep our streets clear of fraudulent tower's, work with the honest towing companies and improve the industry a little more each day.
You leave behind huge footsteps to be filled. We miss you already Sheriff, thankful for the time we had you and will always referrer to our 'updated wrecker rules and regulations" as Sheriff Campbell's changes to protect the motoring public while in Tallahassee Leon County Florida.