Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (Florida)

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Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Patch of the Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff's Office.png
Flag of Hillsborough County, Florida.png
Flag of Hillsborough County, Florida
MottoTo Serve and Protect
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionHillsborough, Florida, USA
Hillsborough County Florida.png
Map of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction.
Size888 square miles (2,300 km2)
General nature
HeadquartersTampa, Florida

Deputy Sheriffs and Corrections2,022 (L.E. and Detention)[2]
Agency executive
Patrol Districts5
Police Boats5

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) is the primary law enforcement agency for Hillsborough County, Florida and is responsible for law enforcement services for the 888 square miles (2,300 km2) of unincorporated areas of the county as well as operation of the two jail facilities, a work release center, and provides courthouse security for the 13th Judicial Circuit. Each of the three incorporated cities (Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace) has its own police agency. Tampa International Airport, and the University of South Florida also have independent police agencies.

The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of the county. The current sheriff is Chad Chronister. Sheriff Chronister was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott on September 30, 2017 to fill the position after the retirement of David Gee.[3]

The office has one of the lowest officer-to-citizen ratios in the state with only 1.4 deputies per 1000 citizens.[2] The national average is 2.3 / 1000. The population of Hillsborough County in 2006 was 1,157,738.[2]


The HCSO was formed in 1845.

In 1986, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accredited the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was the first sheriff’s office in Florida to be nationally accredited and the 1st in the nation to be re-accredited.[citation needed]


Deputies wear dark green trousers with a black stripe on the sides. The shirt is a white poly-cotton button-down with chest pockets, epaulettes, and shoulder patches. Deputies wear silver 5-point star badges. Officers above the rank of corporal wear gold badges. A black tie is worn with the dress uniform (long sleeves) and the command staff wear black dress jackets. Black shoes or boots are also worn with the uniform. Hats are typically not worn by deputies but they are plain green straw cowboy type.[citation needed]


Law enforcement deputies must be 21 years old have an associates degree, or 3 years experience as a law enforcement officer, HCSO reserve deputy, HCSO detention deputy or have a military background. Training lasts approximately 7 months followed by module training and field training. Salary range is $49,467.60 - $80,633.28 per year.[4]

Detention deputies must be 19 years old and have posession of a high school diploma or a GED Certificate. They are responsible for the supervision of inmates in the county jails. They also transport inmates to and from court, prison and other counties. Detention deputies are also in charge of protection of the county courthouse and its judges. Salary range is $49,467.60 - $80,633.28 per year.[5]

Rank Structure[edit]

Title Insignia
2 Gold Stars.svg
Chief Deputy
1 Gold Star.svg
Colonel Gold-vector.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain insignia gold.svg
US-O1 insignia.svg

Patrol Services[edit]

The Department of Patrol Services consists of four district offices[6] serving different geographical areas of unincorporated Hillsborough County. Each District office is commanded by a major and a captain. Patrol squads, traffic enforcement squads, property detectives, and street level narcotic squads operate from each district. Patrol service the following unincorporated census-designated places.

District 1
District 2
District 3
District 4

Lake Magdalene
Pebble Creek


East Lake-Orient Park


Citrus Park
Egypt Lake-Leto
Town 'n' Country

Apollo Beach

Palm River-Clair Mel
Progress Village
Sun City Center

Reserve II Program[edit]

The Reserve II Deputy Program is a uniformed Sheriff’s Office support organization open to all persons age 21 and older, on an equal-opportunity basis. Reserve II deputies work with regular deputies in various assignments. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office takes great pride in the reserve II deputies civic spirit and willingness to serve.

The Reserve Program currently consists of over 110 volunteers. Each reserve II deputy must serve a minimum of 20 volunteer hours each month on assigned duties.[7]

Communications Bureau[edit]

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Communications Bureau is the first point-of-contact for citizens living in unincorporated areas of the county that are seeking emergency or law enforcement services. This is one of the busiest Public Safety Answering Points (9-1-1) in the Tampa Bay area, handling 1.5 million emergency and non-emergency calls for service in 2014. The Communications Bureau is the largest component of non-law enforcement officers in the Sheriff’s Office; it is composed of over 140 personnel, who work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In July 2004, the 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) facility was completely remodeled with state-of-the-art ergonomic workstations and new computers with flat panel LCD monitors. A new Versaterm/Versadex Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Records Management System (RMS) was installed on February 2005. This new systems have significantly expanded the capabilities of both the dispatcher and patrol deputy by allowing them to rapidly share information, efficiently coordinate resources using full-color dynamic displays, and improve officer safety. In addition to the new CAD system, the Bureau utilizes the Plant Vesta E9-1-1 (enhanced 9-1-1) phone system. The E9-1-1 system automatically displays a map that shows the location of each call.[citation needed]

Detention services[edit]

The Department of Detention Services is composed of two major facilities and a work release center.[citation needed]

Orient Road Jail[edit]

The Orient Road Jail has three command areas within the 636,000-square-foot (59,100 m2) facility with a rated capacity of 1,711. North and South Commands are under the direction of one captain and consists of primarily six housing units. Each direct supervision housing unit contains four pods that are designed to house 72 inmates. Another captain oversees Central Command, which is the receiving area for new admissions and includes Intake Housing and the Central Breath Testing Unit. The Orient Road Jail processes all arrested individuals in Hillsborough County regardless of the arresting agency. Approximately 74,000 people per year are processed through the booking section. Each inmate completes property intake, medical screening, fingerprinting, photographing, and classification interview during the booking process.[citation needed]

Falkenburg Road Jail[edit]

The Falkenburg Road Jail opened in 1998 with 768 beds. An expansion of the facility in 2003 added 1,536 more beds to its present rated capacity of 2,304. Falkenburg's dormitories are constructed of pre-cast concrete tilt-up walls. Deputies manage 72 inmates in a direct supervision environment. The daily operational cost is $74.04 per inmate. The Falkenburg Road Jail uses video court and video visitation. Prisoners and visitors are not permitted to talk directly to each other.[citation needed]

Work Release Center[edit]

Located directly across from the Orient Road Jail, the Work Release Center houses reduced-custody inmates. These inmates may either work at an outside job every day, returning to the facility at the end of the day or they can work as a trustee in various areas of the Sheriff's Office. Trustee labor includes maintaining the facility grounds, food preparation, washing county cars, and sanitation. In 2006, the county saved an estimated $13 million by using trustee labor. The House Arrest Program is for individuals who are court ordered to remain in their homes during non-working hours. They wear an electronic anklet and are subject to random visits by the house arrest deputy. These individuals must meet strict guidelines and undergo extensive background checks before being placed into the program. Day Reporting is a program usually dealing with people who have been sentences for minor offenses. This program requires the individual to check in each day with a community service officer allowing better tracking and ensuring that these individuals appear for scheduled court dates.[citation needed]

School security[edit]

HCSO deputies provide security at Hillsborough County Public Schools. In accordance with Florida law, at least one deputy is stationed at every public middle and high school in Hillsborough County. These deputies are known as school resource officers (SRO's) and work to become familiar with the students at their school.[citation needed]

1967 riots[edit]

In 1967 a black burglary suspect was shot and killed by a white policeman. Long simmering rage ignited the city that was fueled by other problems. Within hours, storefronts were ablaze, and teenagers pelted police cruisers with rocks and bottles. Snipers held police and firefighters at bay. Fearing the violence would turn into another riot situation similar to that of Watts, California, Sheriff Beard asked Governor Claude Kirk to call out the National Guard. The guardsmen exchanged gunfire with rioters but never attacked. Beard was convinced by black leaders to allow groups of their own to quell the rioters, and within two days, Beard declared the riots were over.[8]


In 2006, sheriff's deputies, along with other law enforcement agencies arrested 52 members of the Caribbean American Club on racketeering charges. Two years later, the court threw out 23 of the cases on the grounds of entrapment. In 2013, the department agreed to pay $260,000 to ten of those arrested as compensation.[9]

In 2007, Deputy Roosevelt Givens began a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl. In 2012 the deputy was allowed to resign. The victim, refused to cooperate with the investigation making prosecution difficult.[10]

On 29 January 2008 Quadriplegic Brian Sterner was dumped from his wheelchair as he was being booked for an alleged traffic violation at the Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff's Office jail facility. Surveillance video showed Sterner tumbling to the floor and officers searching his clothing as he lay prone.[11][12] The video raised concerns about police treatment of the disabled after being widely circulated on news channels and YouTube.[13] The deputy later resigned and was charged with felony abuse on a disabled person after the video was publicized. Charges were dropped when she agreed to a plea deal which she agrees to never work in law enforcement again and does 100 hours of community service with the disabled. Several other deputies were suspended without pay and one supervisor was fired for not reporting the incident.

On 11 September 2008, a mentally ill man was hog-tied by three sheriff's deputies and subjected to a number of electrical shocks. The local medical examiner said that Roney Wilson died as a result of "delirium with agitation due to schizoaffective disorder." The death was the subject of a civil lawsuit.[14]

In 2008, sheriff's deputies and officers from the Temple Terrace Police Department lied on official documents regarding a routine arrest for driving under the influence. Deputy James Glover falsely attested the correct procedures had been followed. When the defense attorney asked for the video of the incident, he discovered the tapes had been altered by officials.[15]


  1. 1845-1847 John Parker
  2. 1847-1849 John I. Hooker
  3. 1850-1854 B.J. Hagler
  4. 1854-1855 E.T. Kendrick
  5. 1855-1857 Henry Parker
  6. 1857-1858 Dr. William A. Lively
  7. 1858-1865 William S. Spencer
  8. 1865-1867 John T. Lesley
  9. 1874-1875 I.R. Hay
  10. 1877-1885 D. Isaac Craft
  11. 1885-1893 James P. Martin
  12. 1893-1901 Thomas K. Spencer
  13. 1901-1905 Robert Woodburn
  14. 1912-1913 Robert Jackson
  15. 1913-1917 William C. Spencer
  16. 1917-1921 Alonzo J. White
  17. 1921-1925 William C. Spencer
  18. 1925-1929 Luther M. Hiers
  19. 1929-1929 Luther Hatton
  20. 1929-1933 R.T. Joughin
  21. 1933-1935 William C. Spencer
  22. 1935-1941 Jerry McLeod
  23. 1941-1952 Hugh Culbreath
  24. 1952-1953 Elbert Moore
  25. 1953-1965 Ed Blackburn
  26. 1965-1978 Malcolm Beard
  27. 1978-1992 Walter C. Heinrich
  28. 1992-2004 Cal Henderson
  29. 2004–2017 David Gee
  30. 2017-Present Chad Chronister

Line of duty deaths[edit]

16 Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies died while they were actively employed by the sheriff's office. Here is a list of those deputies.

Name Date Cause of death Years of service
Deputy Richard Roach 1874 Gunfire
Deputy William E. Whitehurst July 4, 1893 Gunfire
Deputy Ed Aulick January 24, 1932 Gunfire[16]
Deputy Robert Max Suarez September 3, 1944 Gunfire
Sergeant Ben P. Wilder, Jr. July 22, 1962 Gunfire 8 years
Sergeant Donald C. Williams June 12, 1967 Heart attack 6 years
Sergeant James Strachinsky September 4, 1969 Heart attack 13 years
Aux. Sgt. Lee A. Hutchinson July 25, 1970 Automobile accident 4 years
Deputy James A. Allen May 21, 1974 Heart attack 9 years
Corporal Lemon Harvey December 15, 1981 Gunfire 8 years
Deputy Frederick T. Clark May 7, 1987 Automobile accident 7 years
Deputy Donna M. Miller May 8, 1987 Automobile accident 8 years
Deputy David A. Abella April 21, 2004 Automobile accident 10 months
Sergeant Ronald Harrison August 15, 2007 Gunfire 29 years : 27 with HCSO
Deputy Mark Longway September 21, 2010 Automobile accident 6 years
Deputy John Robert Kotfila March 12, 2016 Automobile accident - Wrong way driver 6 years

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Florida Census: Hillsborough County
  2. ^ a b c d [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office - Job Details". www.hcso.tampa.fl.us. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  5. ^ "Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office - Job Details". www.hcso.tampa.fl.us. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  6. ^ HCSO Patrol Districts Map
  7. ^ "Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office - Job Details". www.hcso.tampa.fl.us. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  8. ^ http://www2.tbo.com/special_section/black-history/2007/jun/11/me-the-bullet-that-changed-tampa-ar-189775/
  9. ^ Botched 2006 Latin Kings investigation results in second settlement, by Jessica Vander-Velde, 26 June 2013, Tampa Bay.com
  10. ^ Hillsborough Sheriff's Office says deputy, teen had sex, by Jessica Vander-Velde, 25 February 2012, Tampa Bay.com
  11. ^ Celizic, Mike (2008-02-13), Deputy dumps paralyzed man out of wheelchair, MSNBC Today
  12. ^ US police 'dumped paralyzed man', BBC, 2008-02-13
  13. ^ William J. Peace (February 16, 2008), Wheelchair Dumping, counterpunch.org, retrieved 2008-02-21
  14. ^ Family of man stunned by Taser sues Hillsborough sheriff in his death, by Richard Danielson, Tampa Bay Times, 22 September 2010
  15. ^ The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office and Temple Terrace Police didn't follow rules and drunk drivers avoid DUI, by Mike Deeson, 6 January 2012, WTSP.com
  16. ^ http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/About-HCSO/Memorial.aspx

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°57′42″N 82°26′10″W / 27.961695°N 82.436137°W / 27.961695; -82.436137