Robert Fanelli

Captain Rob Fanelli retired as the District One patrol commander at the Gainesville (FL) Police Department in December 2023 after 20 years of dedicated service.  His most recent assignment prior was the Criminal Investigations Division Commander where he oversaw Robbery/Homicide, Sexual Assault, ICAC, Domestic Violence, and the Forensic Unit.

Rob has started a new chapter is his life and has joined the Aurora (CO) Police Department. He will be going through their Field Training Program in early 2024.

Rob has had a diverse career and has experience in a number of different areas including policy writing and compliance, investigations, street crime units, and administration. In 2006 he was awarded Officer of the Year and promoted to Corporal. In 2007 he was transferred to the administration as the Accreditation Manager. From 2007-2009 he wrote or updated 153 department policies and subsequently the Gainesville Police Department was awarded 100% approval for accreditation through the Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. After achieving accreditation he was transferred to the detective division. In 2009 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to patrol. From 2013-2017 he worked on a newly formed street crimes burglary unit. The unit was an extreme success and became a model for other agencies. In 2017 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and currently serves as the Criminal Investigations Commander. His goal is to improve the profession of Law Enforcement by challenging ideas and misconceptions within the profession, sharing ideas, encouraging communication across agencies and disciplines, and passing knowledge on to a new generation of law enforcement officers.  In 2020, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and assumed duties as a District Commander.

Rob has a bachelor’s degree from The University of Florida in Criminology. He was a board member of the Criminology and Law Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society and graduated with honors. He went on to receive a Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Leo University and completed his dissertation on Effective Police Organizational Structure: Managerial Economics of a Police Department. He is a graduate of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Leadership Academy. He is currently an instructor with Advanced Police Concepts and at the Institute of Public Safety where he combines his knowledge of legal guidelines, department procedure, investigations, and patrol response to teach Field Training Officers Courses and Advanced Investigations. He is also a certified instructor with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence.  In 2020, he began teaching and consulting with the International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP) in the areas of sexual violence and domestic violence.  He is currently a John Hopkins Bloomberg Research Fellow.

Rob has written numerous articles on report writing and field training, see them here.


In 2022, Rob founded the Southeastern Field Training Officers Association and is the current past president of the organization. SEFTOA had its first conference in May 2022 in the beautiful city of St Augustine, FL and its second in Fort Walton Beach, FL.