DAYTONA BEACH -- Hurricane Irma may have been the ultimate litmus test for first-year Police Chief Craig Capri, whose street smarts as a former longtime cop on the beat and brains in mapping out a strategic game plan in tackling the massive storm whose impact is still being felt now five days later.
Capri, 50, on the job as chief since November after 26 years of climbing the ranks, speaks candidly with Headline Surfer in a 20-minute premiere podcast, the latest multimedia tool that the award-winning internet news site has added to is digital platform. The interview was done at Daytona Beach PD headquarters Thursday where it was Capri, his hand-held police radio on the table and the Headline Surfer journalist with recording device seated across from him in a small conference room near his office.
There were no press releases, no PIOs, no talking points, no rehearsing. There was no time for PR marketing, which isn't Capri's style any way. He answered every question directly and without hesitation as to what it was like at the height of Irma's might, where the hot spots were and how he coordinated it all. Capri's responses to the good, the bad and the ugly demonstrates his coming of age as a true law enforcement leader, whose love for his wife and children, his beloved tourism-driven city where he's rebuilt morale among his 200-plus cops and made inroads in reversing the violence that has gripped Daytona for the past several years.
Capri's down-home approach to policing, especially in a crisis situation like a major hurricane, comes across in the podcast.