Welcome from the
Green Cove Springs Police Department
Green Cove Springs
The City of Green Cove Springs is located in southeastern Clay County, on the beautiful St. John's River, and proudly
serves as the county seat. Located just 30 minutes south of the City of Jacksonville, or 30 minutes west of the
City of St. Augustine, the city's fulltime population is approximately 7,200 and growing with several new
residential communities presently under construction. During the workweek, the city's population swells
to over 13,000, due to State Road 16 and Highway 17 running directly through the city and the influx
of county workers and visitors. The city currently covers 12.21 square miles of land and waterways,
with a utilities service area of approximately 28.2 square miles.
A Brief History
High ground along the St. Johns River and a flowing mineral spring drew the first inhabitants to this
area some 7,000 years ago, but historic development dates from 1816 when George I. F. Clarke erected a
sawmill in this vicinity under a Spanish Land Grant. The first settlement, called White Sulfur Springs,
was established in 1854, with a wharf, a store, and several houses clustered around a Public Square.
During the Civil War, Federal Troops frequently skirmished with Confederate Forces in the vicinity,
and finally occupied the town in 1864.
Renamed in 1866, Green Cove Springs became the seat of Clay County Government in 1871. River steamers brought
visitors to the "Saratoga of the South", noted for the healthful qualities of its famous spring
and for hotels and boarding houses said to rival the finest to be found in northern resorts, but in the early
1900's the City's tourist industry declined sharply. The advent of the automobile age and the creation
of state highway system provided the basis for economic recovery in the 1920's, when the City shared
in the general prosperity of the Florida Land Boom. With the collapse of the Land Boom and the
Depression of the 1930's marked the end of the early development of the City. In the early 1940's
the population increased from 1,752 to 3,026 as a result of the wartime construction of Benjamin Lee Field,
a 1,500-acre air-auxiliary complex, built by the U.S Navy. With the end of World War II, the Navy constructed
thirteen piers and the Green Cove Base became homeport to a mothballed fleet of some 600 war ships.
In 1961, the Navy decommissioned its base, and in 1984, the City annexed the former Naval Base into its city limits.
Green Cove Springs Today
Today, Green Cove Springs is at the center of the southern Clay County building boom. Future plans for the
area include a southern beltway into St. John's County and a full service hospital. The city is also making way
for much of its water front property to be converted for use by high-end townhouses and condominiums.
With recent talks of annexation of surrounding areas, Green Cove Springs is on the verge
of great things to come.
The Police Department
The department is currently comprised of 21 full time officers, 8 part time officers, 5 full time civilian dispatchers,
a full time civilian secretary, a part time evidence custodian, and two school crossing guards. The department
has a Criminal Investigations Unit, a full time Code Enforcement officer and a Traffic Unit.
The department was the first in the county to establish a full time "Street Crimes Unit" and participates
in the Countywide Drug Task Force, SWAT Team and has a fulltime officer assigned to the DEA Task Force.
In addition to these specialized assignments, the police department is active in the North East Florida
Intelligence Unit, North East Florida Burglary Detectives Unit, Northeast Florida Investigative Support Center,
the Violent Crime Regional Coordinating Team, Sex Assault Task Force, and Domestic Violence Task Force.
The department functions as a highly trained force, serving a diverse community and handled approximately
28,000 total calls for service in 2013, with an average response time of three minutes for calls of an emergency
nature. The department is a proactive, technology-minded agency utilizing advanced techniques and equipment.
The department makes use of Mobil Data Terminals (MDT's) computers in all of their patrol vehicles for
reporting and obtaining information on the streets. All officers receive advanced training in law
enforcement as well as career development.