The Buzz

        HIGH SPRINGS – James “Steve” Holley, police chief for High Springs, has taken time off after covering shifts for officers who were sick or attending special training during the past year.

        “He asked for time off, and had the comp and vacation time available to do so,” said City Manager Ed Booth. “I granted his request for 30-days leave,” he said.

        While Holley is out, Sgt. Antoine Sheppard has been appointed acting chief of police.

        Sheppard began his law enforcement career as a police explorer with the Alachua Police Department, according to the High Springs Police Department (HSPD) website. He was hired by the HSPD on April 26, 2001 as a police officer. He has risen to the rank of Sergeant and has been a patrol supervisor.

        In addition to Sheppard's regular assigned duties, he also was in charge of the coordination of the bicycle unit, neighborhood crime watch and the reserve officer program. Sergeant Sheppard is a member of the city's safety committee and is a trained Crisis Intervention Officer.

        City Manager Booth denied rumors that Holley would be demoted to sergeant at the end of the 30 days.

        “That’s all just rumor,” Booth said.

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