Photo: Fred Lopez
WHAT I HAVE ENJOYED MOST AS LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF: Being the sheriff has given me the opportunity to go throughout Lake County and meet some really great people. It’s been an honor to serve this community and work alongside the dedicated men and women at the sheriff’s office.
MY RETIREMENT PLANS: I am going to spend more time with family and I will continue to be involved in the community that I love so much.
YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT: I have been working in law enforcement for 36 years. I started in Osceola County July 1, 1980.
I WAS MOTIVATED TO GO INTO THIS FIELD: Growing up, I always had an interest in law enforcement. I have an uncle in Kentucky who was a captain of the local police department where I grew up. I always enjoyed listening to his stories about different things he did throughout his career. I always knew this was what I wanted to do.
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: Obviously becoming the sheriff of Lake County has been my greatest achievement. For the citizens of this great county to give me the opportunity to serve as their sheriff has been a humbling experience.
MY HERO: Several people have been influential in my life, but my heroes are the men and women who go out and put their lives on the line every day to protect our citizens. Aside from protecting us on a daily basis, I have seen deputies do incredible things, like going to the store to buy a birthday cake for a little boy that was just put into foster care, or the deputy that bought a child a new bike after his was stolen, or when a deputy went to the ATM and withdrew $20 to give to a little girl because someone had stolen her money. These are just a few examples of the things that deputies do that no one ever hears about. They are heroes all the time in my eyes.
BEST ADVICE I’VE BEEN GIVEN: I was always taught to never forget where you came from. It’s important as you progress through the ranks that you don’t forget the people who helped you get there.
PET PEEVE: That would probably be answered best by my staff. Most of my staff would tell you that I don’t like for the deputies in uniform to have their sunglasses on top of their head, especially when they are inside.
GUILTY FOOD PLEASURE: Chocolate
FAVORITE HOBBIES: I will have to let you know what those are about six months after I retire.
ADVICE TO MY SUCCESSOR: I would tell my successor to always remember that as honorable as it is to serve as the sheriff, you should never forget that the office belongs to the people and that we are public servants.