Marathon will have a new law enforcement chief beginning Monday, Oct. 7. Marathon’s Captain Chad Scibilia is being transferred to the Internal Affairs Division and will also oversee Professional Standards and Key West Airport Security.
“ I love Marathon and I am going to miss Marathon but by the same token I am looking forward to the new challenges ahead of me,” Scibilia said.
The City of Marathon contracts law enforcement services from the Sheriff’s Office.
Scibilia’s position will be filled by Captain Gene Thompson who will also oversee the Special Operations Division which includes the narcotics and major crime units. Most recently he was in charge of the Lower Keys District of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Thompson of the command change. “It will be my first time dealing with a city government and city budget. It will be a good experience.”
Thompson has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 20 years. He started in the corrections division before moving to road patrol in the Middle Keys. In the mid 1990s, he joined the narcotics unit and then the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit (HIDTA) that tracks drug smugglers and money launderers. By 2004, he was a sergeant and in 2005 was a detective in the criminal investigations unit in the Upper Keys. Before being named the commander of the Lower Keys district by former Sheriff Bob Peryam, he was in charge of airport security in Key West. Throughout all those moves, however, Thompson’s home base has been Marathon.
“I’ve lived here fulltime since 1979,” he said, laughing, “but I’m looking forward to getting to know people both within the department and in the community.”
One of his major tasks, he said, will be strengthening community partnerships.
“For example, the community cleanups the Sheriff’s Office has been participating in. There’s no reason for one group or one person to shoulder the responsibility. When a bunch of people work together — like Monroe County public works department, garbage services and volunteers — things get done faster and more efficiently,” he said.
He said he plans to transfer his Rotary Club membership to the Middle Keys chapter and enjoy lingering over coffee in the morning instead of getting up early to commute.
Thompson’s wife, Sherri, works at Windswept Appliances in Marathon. His daughter, Brittaney White, lives in Central Florida.