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Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Patch of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Motto To Serve and Protect
Agency overview
Formed 1845
Employees 3,397
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* County of Hillsborough in the state of Florida, USA
Hillsborough County Florida.png
Map of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction.
Size 888 square miles
Population 1,157,738[1]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Tampa, Florida
Deputy Sheriffs and Corrections 2,022 (L.E. and Detention)[2]
Civilians 1,375
Agency executive David Gee, Sheriff
Patrol Districts 4
Jails 3[2]
Police Boats 5
Helicopters 5
Planes 1
Official website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) is the primary law enforcement agency for Hillsborough County, Florida, USA 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 David Gee, elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008 (with no opposition).

Although the 4th largest Sheriff's Office in the United States[2], the HCSO operates with one of the lowest officer to citizen ratios in the state with only 1.34 deputies per 1000 citizens.[2] The national average is 2.7 / 1000. The population of Hillsborough County in 2006 was 1,157,738[3]



The HCSO was formed in 1845.

In 1986, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accredited the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. This agency governs law enforcement accreditation in the United States, Canada, and the British West Indies. 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.


The uniforms of HCSO deputies are very simple. 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, above the rank of corporal wear gold badges. A black tie is worn with the class A dress uniform (long sleeves) and only 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. The duty belt is Uncle Mikes Sidekick in faux leather basket weave. Green Gore-Tex jackets or black sweaters are approved for winter wear.


Law Enforcement Deputies must be 21 years old have a minimum associates degree or 3 years experience as a law enforcement officer, HCSO reserve deputy, HCSO Detention Deputy or have a military background. Law Enforcement academy lasts approximately 7 months followed by module training and field training. Salary range is $44,881.20 - $71,657.04 per year.

Detention Deputies must be 21 years old. 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 $44,335.20 - $66,808.50 per year.

Patrol Services

The Department of Patrol Services consists of four district offices 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

Greater Northdale
Lake Magdalene
Pebble Creek


East Lake-Orient Park
Fish Hawk

Citrus Park

Egypt Lake-Leto
Greater Carrollwood
Town 'n' Country

Apollo Beach

Greater Sun Center
Palm River-Clair Mel
Progress Village

Reserve II Program

The Reserve II deputy program is a uniformed Sheriff’s Office support organization open to all persons age 19 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.

Communications Bureau

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 and Law Enforcement services. This is one of the busiest Public Safety Answering Points (9-1-1) in the Tampa Bay area, handling over 900,000 emergency and non-emergency calls for service in 2004. The Communications Bureau is the largest civilian component of the Sheriff’s Office; it is composed of over 140 personnel, which work 12-hour shifts on an A/B rotation, 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) system was installed on February 2005. This new CAD system has 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. Improvements in cellular technology will eventually enable dispatchers to pinpoint the caller’s location. These enhancements can save precious minutes in responding to an emergency call.

Detention Services

The Department of Detention Services is composed of two major facilities and a work release center. The department provides processing and detention services for all law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough County. Additionally, it furnishes staff for the secure component of the Juvenile Assessment Center, a centralized receiving, processing, and intervention facility for adolescents taken into custody by law enforcement officers.


Orient Road Jail

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 64 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. An Initial Inmate Per-Diem Fee is charged to cover administrative costs.

Falkenburg Road Jail

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. The dormitory design is cost cutting and technologically innovative. It serves as a model for all future jail construction in Hillsborough County. Falkenburg’s “no frills” dormitory style was 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 takes technology to the forefront with its use of video court and the application of video visitation. Gone are the days of contact visits where the visitors were allowed physical contact with the inmate, posing a threat should contraband be introduced in the facility. Visitors now sit in front of a computer monitor, pick up a telephone handset and visit via a fiber optic, two-way fully interactive video system. This is done in real time and in many ways is more private than its “contact” forerunner. The current video visitation area facilitates the Public Defenders Office and Indigent Screening with “dial in” capabilities for inmate interviews.

Work Release Center

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 trusty in various areas of the Sheriff’s Office. Trusty labor includes maintaining the facility grounds, food preparation, washing county cars, and sanitation. In 2006, the county saved an estimated $13 million by utilizing trusty 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 an innovative program usually dealing with people who have been sentences on minor offenses. This program requires the individual to check in each day with a Community Service Officer allowing better tracking and ensuring these individuals appear for scheduled court dates.

Jail House Fire Hot Sauce

Jail House Fire Hot Sauce is made by Hillsborough County Jail inmates supervised by the Horticulture Department. There are currently two types of hot sauce for sale. Currently, there is "Original" flavor and "Smoke" flavor. Two new flavors, "No Escape" is due out in the Spring of 2008, and the flavor that will follow will be "Misdemeanor" (no release date).
Bottles are $7.00 each and benefit the Jail Horticulture program. This course provides instruction to inmates dealing with many aspects of plant propagation, and of growing fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants. Four public plant sales are held annually to support the program's operation.

School security

One part of the duty of HCSO deputies is to 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.

1967 riots

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.

Past Sheriffs

  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. 1913-1917 William C. Spencer (again from 1921-1925 and 1933-1935)
  13. 1917-1921 Alonzo J. White
  14. 1921-1925 William C. Spencer
  15. 1925-1929 Luther M. Hiers
  16. 1929-1929 Luther Hatton
  17. 1929-1933 R.T. Joughin
  18. 1933-1935 William C. Spencer
  19. 1935-1941 Jerry McLeod
  20. 1941-1952 Hugh Culbreath
  21. 1952-1953 Elbert Moore
  22. 1953-1965 Ed Blackburn
  23. 1965-1978 Malcolm Beard
  24. 1978-1992 Walter C. Heinrich
  25. 1992-2004 Cal Henderson
  26. 2004-present David Gee

HCSO Deputies killed in the line of duty


# Name End of watch Years of service Cause of death
1 Deputy Richard Roach 1874 unknown years of service Gunfire
2 Deputy William E. Whitehurst July 4, 1893 unknown years of service Gunfire
3 Deputy Robert Max Suarez September 3, 1944 unknown years of service Gunfire
4 Sergeant Ben P. Wilder, Jr. July 22, 1962 8 years of service Gunfire while serving an arrest warrant.
5 Sergeant Donald C. Williams June 12, 1967 6 years of service Heart attack during riot.
6 Sergeant James Strachinsky September 4, 1969 13 years of service Heart attack while struggling with an inmate.
7 Aux. Sgt. Lee A. Hutchinson July 25, 1970 4 years of service Automobile accident
8 Deputy James A. Allen May 21, 1974 9 years of service Heart attack
9 Corporal Lemon Harvey December 15, 1981 8 years of service Gunfire
10 Deputy Barry LaRocca September 26, 1985 1 year of service Gunfire
11 Deputy Frederick T. Clark May 7, 1987 7 years of service Automobile accident
12 Deputy Donna M. Miller May 8, 1987 8 years of service Automobile accident
13 Deputy David A. Abella April 21, 2004 1 year of service Automobile accident
14 Sergeant Ronald Harrison August 15, 2007 21 years of service Gunfire

See also

External links



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