INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Captain L.E. “Bud” Spencer is a familiar face around the Sheriff’s Office. Having walked the county’s streets and the halls of the Sheriff’s Administration Building for nearly 30 years, he is the longest serving member on staff.
On Friday, New Year’s Day, Captain Bud Spencer became the new Undersheriff, taking over for Tim Elder, who is retiring.
“It’s a very proud moment for me,” Undersheriff Spencer said. He has served in numerous roles in just about every department within the Sheriff’s Office.
“I have grown to trust, admire and respect him,” Sheriff Deryl Loar said of his selection of Undersheriff.
As Undersheriff, Spencer is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency and reports directly to Sheriff Loar.
“He knows the personalities and the strengths,” Sheriff Loar said of Spencer.
Prior to taking on the role as Undersheriff, Spencer most recently served as a Captain, overseeing human resources and training.
Before that, he was the Deputy Division Director of the Uniform Division, a lieutenant in Special Operations, Staff Services, and Personnel Services, and a corporal and deputy, among holding other posts.
“I’ve run the gamut,” he said.
He is also a graduate of the FBI Academy, a designation that very few law enforcement officers have.
Having served in many positions around the Sheriff’s Office, Spencer said he has a huge working relationship with staff.
“I’m kind of like the Uncle Bud of the Sheriff’s Office,” he said – a statement supported by greetings of “Hi, Bud” heard through the corridors of the building as he passes by.
Spencer got his start in law enforcement when he was 27, beginning his career in Lee County.
The 56-year-old has 4 1/2 years left before retirement and is enrolled in the Florida Deferred Retirement Option Program.
“I’m planning my life around that,” he said, adding that life is unpredictable and retirement plans could change.
In the nearly three decades Spencer has been in law enforcement, he has felt the weight of his gun belt increase.
He said he can remember a time when officers didn’t have handheld radios. They also carried a revolver, a speed loader, a baton and flashlight. The tool belt has grown from 10 to 15 pounds to about double that, he said.
“It’s amazing to watch where technology is taking us,” Undersheriff Spencer said.
To that end, his son Stephen works in the technology field as the information technology manager at the Vero Beach Police Department.
Spencer has two other children, Joshua and Bethany, and a wife, Loma. They live in south county.
Undersheriff Spencer said though the face and name has changed in the Undersheriff’s office, the open door policy the Sheriff’s Office has remains the same.
He added residents should feel free to call and ask to speak with either Sheriff Loar or with him.
“They are the eyes and ears” in their communities, Spencer said.