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Former Sanibel chief of police focuses on new endeavor

December 7, 2016
By ASHLEY GOODMAN ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Bill Tomlinson, Sanibel's former police chief has earned a new title. Last month, Tomlinson retired with the Sanibel Police Department after 31 years and began working with John R. Woods Properties Nov. 28 as a real estate agent on Sanibel.

So far, he has found the two jobs go hand-in-hand.

"A lot of the same things that I did as police chief and working with the community are similar; trying to find what people want and trying to help them get it and trying to resolve any problems that they might have. This sounds a lot smaller in scope when you're talking about a home or real estate but really, your house is everything. People from the law enforcement perspective and that side want to protect their property and they want safety and security. Now, my job is to find the right house for them so they feel safe and protected. Sanibel is a fantastic place to live," Tomlinson said.

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Bill Tomlinson, Sanibel’s former police chief, joins John R. Woods Properties.


Becoming a real estate agent isn't a new dream for Tomlinson. In 1982, he obtained his real estate license, three years before joining the Sanibel Police Department.

"It's a passion I've had for a long time. It's not something I decided at the last minute to do. I've always had this in the back of my mind. I always knew real estate would be what I would do," he said.

Tomlinson says he was happy to jump on board with John R. Woods due to their reputation within the community and his long ties with fellow real estate agent Phaidra McDermott who he will be partnering with. McDermott's grandfather, John Butler, was the first police chief on Sanibel who hired Tomlinson back in 1985.

"Phaidra has been in the business since the '90s. Her grandfather was the first police chief on Sanibel. I feel a connection to her and her family because of that. It's a continuation of how our families worked with each other over 31 years. I attribute a lot of where I've gotten to through the police department because of her grandfather and I've always had a high respect for Phaidra and her work," Tomlinson said.



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