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Florida Sheriffs Association Announces 2017 Legislative Awards

July 24, 2017

Each year, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) recognizes 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 the following legislators as FSA’s Legislative Champions:

  • Representative Jim Boyd (sponsored HB 477 – heroin/Fentanyl bill)
  • Representative James Grant (sponsored HB 7059 – prolific juvenile offender bill)
  • Representative Chris Sprowls (supported public safety throughout session)
  • Senator Jack Latvala (sponsored SB 7059 – prolific juvenile offender bill)
  • Senator Greg Steube (sponsored SB 150 – heroin/Fentanyl bill)

“The Florida Sheriffs Association is honored to recognize these legislators for their commitment to public safety,” said FSA President and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings. “We are grateful for Representative Boyd and Senator Steube for their dedication and leadership in passing comprehensive legislation to address Florida’s heroin and Fentanyl epidemic.”

“This session, Senator Latvala and Representative Grant made addressing the problem of a lack of accountability among repeat juvenile offenders a priority with the passage of the prolific juvenile offender bill (SB 7059),” said FSA’s Legislative Chair and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “Sheriffs also greatly appreciate the leadership of Representative Sprowls for working on this bill as well as numerous other public safety issues that had to be addressed throughout session.”

Sheriffs also recognize key House and Senate members with the FSA Friend of the Sheriff Award. These recipients supported legislation that would have a positive impact on public safety. This year, FSA acknowledges 18 Senators for supporting the motion to recede from a problematic amendment on the last day of session and concurring with the House to pass HB 477. These 18 senators joined Senator Steube and Senator Latvala in approving the motion to recede on a 20-18 vote.

  • Senator Dennis Baxley
  • Senator Aaron Bean
  • Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto
  • Senator Lauren Book
  • Senator Rob Bradley
  • Senator George Gainer
  • Senator Bill Galvano
  • Senator Rene Garcia
  • Senator Denise Grimsley
  • Senator Travis Hutson
  • Senator Tom Lee
  • Senator Debbie Mayfield
  • Senator Kathleen Passidomo
  • Senator Keith Perry
  • Senator Darryl Rouson
  • Senator David Simmons
  • Senator Wilton Simpson
  • Senator Kelli Stargel

In addition, the following elected officials are also recognized with the FSA Friend of the Sheriff Award:

  • Representative Jason Fischer (sponsored HB 721 – elected sheriff bill)
  • Representative Joseph Abruzzo (strongly advocated in committee for independently elected sheriffs in all 67 counties – HB 721)
  • Speaker Richard Corcoran (supported public safety initiatives throughout session)
  • Attorney General Pam Bondi (top priority was passage of HB 477 – heroin/Fentanyl bill and was instrumental in successfully passing it in the Senate)

“Without the aid of these important state legislators, and Attorney General Bondi, 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 steadfastly 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