This week, state Attorney General Ashley Moody presented a Florida Cabinet resolution commemorating 200 years of Florida sheriffs.
Florida Sheriffs Association President Sheriff Bobby Schultz, as well as FSA Vice President Sheriff Bobby McCallum and FSA Executive Director Steve Casey, attended the Cabinet meeting to accept the resolution—passed unanimously by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet.
“For 200 years, our state has benefited from the Office of the Sheriff in Florida. What began as an appointed position in 1821, soon became a vital office safeguarding the lives and property of Floridians. Over the past two centuries, Florida Sheriffs have worked to uphold the rule of law and protect Floridians while improving our state through unparalleled civic engagement, breaking cycles of crime and changing the lives of troubled youth,” Moody said on Tuesday.
“Because of the Florida sheriffs, we have countless programs and initiatives throughout our state contributing to a stronger and safer environment for all Floridians. Thank you, to all our great sheriffs, past and present, for your service and commitment to our state and the citizens who live here,” she added.
“Much like the great state of Florida, the Office of Sheriff has grown and evolved over the last 200 years. Today, sheriffs work tirelessly every day to serve and protect our communities. Thank you General Moody, Governor DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet for honoring this historic anniversary,” Schultz said.
In 1821, Florida Military Commissioner Governor Andrew Jackson first established the Florida Office of the Sheriff by appointing sheriffs to Florida’s first two counties. Jackson appointed Henri Piere as sheriff of Escambia County and James Hannan as sheriff of St. John’s County. In 1885, the state of Florida authorized the Office of the Sheriff in the Florida Constitution. Over the next 100 years, Florida established 67 counties throughout the state, each including a sheriff’s office.
Throughout the past two centuries, Florida Sheriffs have created numerous initiatives to better our state and the communities they serve, including:
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement;
The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches;
The Florida Law Enforcement Academy; and
The Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.
While Florida sheriffs are celebrating the bicentennial of the Office of Sheriff all year, the anniversary of the office is observed on July 21.