Robert A. Hardwick was selected in November of 2012 as the 11th Chief of Police for the St. Augustine Beach Police Department. On January 7th of 2013 he assumed the duties and responsibilities for the agency after being sworn in by the five City Commissioners. He previously served as the Assistant Chief Investigator with the Office of the State Attorney 7th Judicial Circuit, which encompasses Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia Counties. At the State Attorney’s Office, he supervised investigations over the four counties to include; homicide, police corruption, governor assignments and special prosecutions. During his approximate 26-year law enforcement career Chief Hardwick also worked at the St. Augustine Police Department, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Corrections.
As a veteran of the U.S. Army and Florida Army National Guard, Chief Hardwick has participated in multiple deployments to the Middle East in support of military operations. His deployments include as far back as Operation Desert Storm in 1990 with the 82nd Airborne Division and as recent as Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2004 with the 53rd Infantry Brigade supporting the 5th Special Forces Group. His most recent assignment was in the Florida Army National Guard as a Platoon Trainer (TAC) at the Camp Blanding Regional Training Institute’s Officer Candidate School (OCS). In 2018, after 25 years of active and national guard service, Chief Hardwick honorably retired.
Chief Hardwick has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Flagler College and a Master of Arts Degree from Barry University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session 247 and a graduate of the FBI’s Florida Executive Development Seminar, Class 16. Chief Hardwick is also a graduate of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Chief Executive Seminar, Session 48.
In August of 2016 Governor Rick Scott appointed Chief Hardwick to the Criminal Justice and Standards Training Commission (CJSTC). He is the current Chair for the Officer Discipline Penalty Guidelines Task Force and Chair for the Florida League of Cities’ Law Enforcement Advisory Panel, (LEAP). Chief Hardwick serves on the Region V Training Council, the St. Johns River State College Criminal Justice Academy Advisory Board and the St. Johns County Complete Count Committee (2020 Census). He serves on the Board of Directors for the Flagler Health + Care Connect, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Police Athletic League, the St. Johns County School’s Academy of Law & Homeland Security and the School Advisory Board for St. Joseph Academy Catholic High School. Chief Hardwick continues to volunteer as a local youth coach.
Chief Hardwick has been married to his wife for 28 years, whom works for the St. Johns County School District and they have two adult sons. His oldest son earned a Juris Doctor degree and works for a local St. Johns County business. The youngest son is a graduate of Flagler College and is a helicopter pilot with the Florida Army National Guard.