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Florida Sheriffs Association Announces 2016 Legislator of the Year and Legislative Champions

April 18, 2016

Tallahassee, Fla. (April 11, 2016) – Each year the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) recognizes several exemplary state legislators for their significant contributions to and support of good public safety policies during legislative session. These legislators have demonstrated a commitment to protecting the best interests of Florida citizens through their diligent legislative efforts and support of FSA initiatives.

This year, the Florida Sheriffs Association names Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla as the 2016 Legislator of the Year for his commitment to the safety of our citizens. His role in ensuring a common sense approach to conceal carry legislation exemplified what we expect of our elected officials and his unwavering support for reasonable solutions proposed by Florida’s sheriffs demonstrated his commitment to Florida’s citizens and visitors.

“The Florida Sheriffs Association is honored to recognize Senator Diaz de la Portilla for his continued support and commitment to the public safety,” said FSA President and Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell. “We were grateful for the opportunity to work with a senator so dedicated to the citizens this legislative session.”

The FSA also recognizes 15 additional House and Senate members as Legislative Champions during this legislative session for their support of FSA legislative priorities as well as their passionate support of smart public safety policy, including those that sponsored legislation that reforming death benefits for families of fallen officers. “This session, the Florida Legislature has made taking care of law enforcement officers a priority through the passage of the Deputy Pine bill (SB 7012), which reforms the death benefits for families of fallen officers,” said FSA’s Legislative Chair and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “These legislators helped make this bill a reality, along with numerous other important public safety bills, which will make a difference in the lives of many.”

2016 Florida Sheriffs Association’s Legislative Champions:

  • Sen. Rob Bradley
  • Sen. Alan Hays
  • Sen. Arthenia Joyner
  • Sen. Jack Latvala
  • Sen. Garrett Richter
  • Sen. Jeremy Ring
  • Sen. David Simmons
  • Sen. Chris Smith
  • Rep. Shawn Harrison
  • Rep. Shevrin Jones
  • Rep. Dave Kerner
  • Rep. Chris Latvala
  • Rep. Kathleen Passidomo
  • Rep. Rene Plasencia
  • Rep. Cyndi Stevenson

“Without the aid of these important state legislators, the Florida Sheriffs Association would not be able to serve the citizens of Florida to the best of our ability,” said FSA Executive Director Steve Casey. “On behalf of the entire Florida Sheriffs Association, I would like to honor these men and women for doing their part to help keep Floridians safe.”

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The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of Florida’s Sheriffs, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has quietly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law-enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services.Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA both established and continues to fund the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. The Florida Sheriffs Association has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit [url=][/url].