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DeLand Police Cmdr. Francis “Mac” McBride is retiring after 45 years on the police force and wants to thank the DeLand community. McBride joined the DeLand Police Department in November 1975. He plans to move to Alabama to spend time with his daughter on her 7-acre farm.

In June, McBride was hospitalized for a bleeding ulcer and spent eight days in the ICU. That was when Parking Enforcement Officer Brian Roberts organized a fundraiser for McBride’s medical expenses.

McBride said that thanks to the community, the City of DeLand and the Police Benevolent Association, all of whom chipped in to help cover his medical expenses, the fundraiser raised $1,200.

“I wanted to make sure that it goes out how much I appreciate what they did for me,” McBride said.

This was not the first time the city had rallied behind McBride. In 2017, when McBride was previously hospitalized, the community raised nearly $2,700 through GoFundMe.

DeLand City Manager Michael Pleus said he has enjoyed working with McBride for the 20 years Pleus has worked in DeLand.

“He represents exactly what we want to see from an employee,” Pleus said. “He goes the extra mile and always has a great attitude. He does what he can to help people out.”

Pleus added that McBride is well-loved by many of the business owners in Downtown DeLand. McBride said he was also thankful for their contributions to the fundraising efforts.

McBride said he looks forward to his retirement, but that he will miss DeLand. “The city has always been there. I’ve been through crises before, and the city has always been there.”

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Born in Virginia, Al spent his youth in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, and first moved to DeLand in 1969. He graduated from Stetson University in 1971, and returned to West Volusia in 1985. Al began working for The Beacon as a stringer in 1999, contributing articles on county and municipal government and, when he left his job as the one-man news department at Radio Station WXVQ, began working at The Beacon full time.


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