My First Job: Larry Hart

The Lee County Tax Collector's first job was at a downtown Fort Myers restaurant.

Larry Hart’s first job was at a restaurant in downtown Fort Myers when 
he was 15 years old. He cleaned the restaurant, washed dishes, wiped counters and completed any task that needed to be handled.

“[This job] taught me that you have to be on time and you have to be disciplined,” he says. “You have to set a schedule with what you are supposed to do from the beginning of the day to the end of your day.”

After completing his summer job in the restaurant industry, Hart went on to clean cars for Val Ward Cadillac. Similar to his previous experience, Hart took on responsibilities around the business such as making sure all the cars were ready.

Eventually, it was time for Hart to graduate and enter a new chapter. At age 18, Hart entered the Air Force where he spent the next four years serving the country. He became interested in law enforcement while he was in the Air Force after a few of his acquaintances applied to be police officers in Tampa. He decided to return home and do the same. He landed a job with the Fort Myers Police Department, working his way up to chief.

Through all of Hart’s life experiences and job opportunities, he was always able to count on his support system for advice.

“I have had a lot of mentors
in school and in life as well, and they have stuck with me. … I have a lot of great teachers that I looked up to and were always there, and I have had great police chiefs that I worked for in law enforcement that helped me impel my career.”

Hart’s first job taught him the lessons he continues to remember in his
 career today. “The biggest thing you learn [is] if you have a job, you have to
 be at work on time, you have to do what you need to do or do what your job requires you to do and make sure you treat people the way you want to be treated in that process.”​