Charles W. Skalaski

March 1, 1927November 8, 2012

Charles W. Skalaski was born on March 1, 1927 in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He passed away on Thursday, November 8, 2012. He was graduated from Bridgeton High School in 1945 and received a football scholarship to the University of Miami, He played on Miami's Orange Bowl Team on January 1, 1946 against Holy Cross. Miami won 13 to 7 on Al Hudson's 89 yard interception with six seconds left in the game. He was graduated from the U.M. with a B. Ed.

The two most unforgettable date in the law enforcement career of Charles W. Skalaski are October 13, 1949, when he took the "Oath of Office" as a Coral Gables Police Officer (at age 22) and March 1, 988, when he was sworn in again, as Coral Gables Police Chief (on his 61st birthday!) Chief Skalaski is the epitome of a law enforcement professional who rose through the ranks in 40 years of dedicated service to the Coral Gables community.

For seven years, young officer Skalaski coached and taught Physical Education and Drivers Education in his spare time, mornings and early afternoons at Gulliver Academy before going on duty. In early years, 27 year old Officer Skalaski was honored by the Coral Gables Jr. Chamber of Commerce for his off-duty community service and for coaching kids in Little League football, baseball, Basketball and bicycle derby. He was awarded the "Outstanding Young Man of 1954" Award and the Distinguished Service Cross. Numerous middle-aged men fondly remember "Coach Skalaski" as their role model who taught them sports, ethics and respect for the law at the same time.

In August 1961 Skalaski was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, assigned to the Detective Division Throughout his career he established himself as an effective public speaker, to all age groups, on crime prevention and law enforcement, based on his police experience and knowledge of Coral Gables history. Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in November 1967, Skalaski continued to express his love of athletics by supervising organized sports (after duty) at the Coral Gables Youth Center.

A highlight of Chief Skalaski's law enforcement career was when he completed the 92nd session of the F.B.I. National Academy in January to March 1973. During the course of instruction, major emphasis was placed on criminal law, behavioral sciences and vocational aspects of law enforcement. In April 1978, Skalaski was assigned to the Technical Services Division (Communications Records).

Promoted to the rank of Major in August 1983, he was Commander of the Operations Bureau (Detective Division, Vice Intelligence, Narcotics, Youth Resource Unit). On January 1, 1988 (his birthday) sworn in as Chief of Police.

Over the years hundred of Coral Gables kids never knew that "Santa Claus" was in reality - Charles Skalaski (as Santa's helper) distributing gifts to them from a fire truck or a police car during the Christmas holiday season.

Chief Skalaski 's rise to the highest rank in the Coral Gables Police Department is proof and recognition of his long devotion to service. He has truly earned the respect of his fellow-Police Officers and community leaders for his attitude of "working together". He tried to maintain high morale by fair and equal treatment to all police personnel as well as the public. Above all, Chief Skalaski stressed the Coral Gables Police Department traditional philosophy - to serve and protect, to enforce the law efficiently with courteous personal service.

Chief Charles Skalaski was a member of the Coral Gables Elks Lodge #1676 and Past Exalted Ruler twice. He was the Past President of the Coral Gables People to People Program, Inc. and was a Board Member of Coral Gables Rotary Club.

In 1990, Chief Skalaski served as President of the Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police. Charles leaves his wife Fay of 25 years, 4 children, Donna Marie (Steve), William (Barbara), Charlie (Ann) and Carolyn (Earl) and 4 stepchildren, Kimberly (Kevin), Ross (Terry), Douglas (Danielle) and William and 18 grandchildren. Private services were held.


Charles W. Skalaski

have a memory or condolence to add?


January 9, 2013

Charlie and I were friends both as to personal and business. Many a fond moments when we would do interventions on police officers as well as walking house to house campaigning for his election as mayor. Charlie was a Man's Man and highly thought of by all around him. He was a close friend of my family (kept us out of trouble)and a worthy opponent on the golf course.

Terrence W. Grant

Bobby Grant

January 9, 2013

Charles Skalaski was a monumental person in my early years in South Miami. He has forever influenced me along with thousands of other boys. I just learned of his passing hence the late posting. I have never forgotten his leadership of the South Miami Little League baseball program even as i approach my seventieth birthday. I too got into some trouble and the late Judge Jack Block along with Mr. Skalaski helped me through it. He was stern but fair and everyone i knew at that time looked up to him.

December 3, 2012

Brother Charlie Skalaski, EB'48
"The Star and Crescent shall not be worn by every man, but only by him who is worthy to wear it. He must be a gentleman ... a man of honor and courage ... a man of zeal, yet humble ... an intelligent man ... a man of truth ... one who tempers action with wisdom and, above all else, one who walks in the light of God." Your Kappa Sigma Brothers from the Epsilon-Beta Chapter University of Miami

Patty Schrader Perry

November 14, 2012

I " disappeared " from my home at age 3 and had an all out search by the CG Police that day. It was Charlie that discovered me hiding in a toy cabinet. I still have that picture of me on his knee while they called in the report. I was terrified at the time but he was as gentle as he could be. My sympathies to his family.

Bill Skalaski

November 13, 2012

Dad...It's Billy Bill Bill known as The Billzer. We didn't have as much time together as I would have liked but that made me cherish the time we had together more. I envied the respect you earned in the lives you touched and how important service to others was to you. I didn't realize till now that you are the reason I always try to respect others and their feelings, and if in some way, make people's lives more pleasurable and easier. I only hope I can pass on the gifts you have given me to others as well as you did. I thank God you are out of pain and look forward to spending time together in Heaven someday.

Susan Corrigan

November 13, 2012

Faye and family,
so sorry for your loss of charlie, i will always remember him playing Santa Claus and riding the fire truck. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Richard DeFrank

November 13, 2012

Thank You Coach-Sgt. Skalaski for everything you did for us
kids. I was a 95 lb. Blue Devil when I had the pleasure of first
meeting Coach Skalaski. That was at South Miami Little League Football. He was in charge of the entire program. He helped many young men go on to be good citizens. As years went by some of us got into teenage boy trouble, I being one of them. There would be times when I was taken
to the Coral Gables Police Station along with some other boys that also played under Sgt. Saklaski (he was Sgt. back in those days). We would ask if Sgt. Skalaski was on duty and they would get him and he would say Oh you two now
what did you do. He would give us a stern talking to and help us clear up our issue. I for one will never forget your smiling face and all the help you gave me. Thank You Sarge. God Bless my prayers are with you. Rick DeFrank

J.J. Carroll

November 12, 2012

I worked with Charlie for many years.He was a good man, treated everyone fairly & had a great sense of humor. He was a pleasure to work with.RIP Charlie

November 11, 2012

Chief Skalaski was the epitome of a professional law enforcement officer but more importantly was a loyal leader to the men & women under his command. He was the last of a dying breed. A Chief who earned his position and understood the street officers challenges. He worked his way up from patrolman, thru the ranks and thus had the respect of every officer in his command. He was a Chief who genuinely cared for those in his command and loved the City of Coral Gables. His knowledge of the City was legendary and it seemed like he knew everbody. He was into "community policing" before it became a politically correct term. The hundreds of kids he coached in little league baseball and football, the Citizens of Coral Gables and the Law Enforcement community has lost one of their best & brightest. May you rest in the loving hands of our Lord Chief.

Barbara Skalaski

November 11, 2012

Dad...I will never forget your sense of humor and you singing Polish songs in the car. We all have great memories of your "larger than life" personality. We miss you so much but know that you are in a better place, out of pain, and having a beer and some kielbasa. You will always be in our memories and hearts. Rest in Peace