Phil Royal, a native of Clearwater, Florida, began his career as a first responder, serving in Pasco County as a firefighter/paramedic in 1987. Subsequently moving to Citrus County in 1988, Phil would continue to serve Citrus in the same capacity. In 1990, Phil went on to further his career and was anointed Deputy Sheriff after attending the Law Enforcement Academy at Withlacoochee Technical College (WTC); the same academy where he would later serve as director.
Phil was an integral part of the Citrus County Sheriff’s department and operated throughout the agency in numerous roles, including; Patrol Deputy, School Resource Officer (SRO), SWAT Medic, Underwater Recovery Team Commander, SCUBA Diving Instructor, Crime Scene Technician, Sergeant and Lieutenant.
In addition to these roles, Phil eventually earned the title and served as a captain of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office. Under this title, his duties included director of Citrus County Public Safety Training Center and supervisor of the Professional Standards and Training Division. He was also credited with the implementation of a county-wide Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) campaign, set to increase the availability of AED’s in populated areas. As a result, every marked patrol vehicle and fire truck in Citrus County were equipped with this life saving device.
Throughout Phil’s career with the Citrus County Sherriff’s Department, he dedicated himself to continuing his education and training. While assigned to patrol, he attended the College of Central Florida and earned an Associate’s Degree in Emergency Medicine. Phil would further his education by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, from Saint Leo University and subsequently a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. Phil was a member and graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy, an achievement that only a select few of today’s law enforcement executives attain.
Phil’s dedication to public safety and service extended far greater than his employment with the Citrus County Sherriff’s Department. He acted as the Vice-Chair of the Florida Criminal Justice Training Center Director’s Association and served on the Executive Board of the Florida Firefighter Training Director’s Association. Locally, Phil volunteered as a firefighter and as a coach for youth baseball and soccer. One of Phil’s greatest contributions to the community was serving on the Board of Directors of the Key Training Center, a facility for the mentally and physically handicapped. Annually, he coordinated and participated in the Key Center’s largest fundraiser of the year, known as the “Run for the Money, a one hundred eighty-mile trek from the State Capitol in Tallahassee to the Key Center’s home campus.
Phil’s commitment to excellence and serving the people was not only his passion, but also his mission.