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Florida Sheriffs Association Announces the 2018 Commanders Academy Graduating Class VII

June 08, 2018

Today, sheriff deputies and personnel representing 28 Florida sheriffs’ offices graduated from the Florida Sheriffs Association’s prestigious Commanders Academy. The Commanders Academy is an exceptionally informative and educational experience that is vital for public safety leaders of the next generation. The academy provides a comprehensive curriculum and offers programs on leadership skills, business and personal ethics, management training and other topics that relate to the law enforcement profession.

“Having graduated its seventh class, the Commanders Academy is recognized as a revered course study program for criminal justice leaders,” said FSA President and Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “This training program prepares commanders to be the most effective in leading modern policing.”

Steve Casey, executive director of the Florida Sheriffs Association, said, “With the continuous training and innovative curriculum taught through the Commanders Academy, sheriffs’ offices in Florida are consistently looked to as the model example of protecting, leading and uniting. Our sheriffs and their commanders, deputies, and staff set the bar for the rest of the nation.”

In addition to successfully completing this two-week training course, Commanders Academy Class 7 also raised $29,800.00 for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches. This generous donation will help support the mission of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches in preventing delinquency and to develop lawful, resilient and productive citizens. The Florida Sheriffs Association would like to congratulate all the graduates of the 2018 Commanders Academy.

FSA Commanders Academy Class VII:

  • Lieutenant Kyle Salman, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Vicky J. Heath, Bay County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Thomas J. Palmer, Broward County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Joseph Sousa, Jr., Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Michael Kanter, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office
  • Manager Dominic Antoniello, Clay County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Jason Wrobleski, Collier County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Timothy Hilgeman, DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office
  • Chief Steve Brandt, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Thomas J. Webb, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sergeant Joe Maurer, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Gerald W. Knecht, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Christopher J. Andrews, Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Stanley Schaeffer, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Luis M. Poveda, Miami-Dade County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Tony Marlow, Orange County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Tait G. Sanborn, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Dennis A. Komar, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain John Valdes, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant John Welch, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Joseph Giasone, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Leon Lowery, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Robert Dean, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant James DeFonzo, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sergeant Shawn Larney, Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Richard R. Fortin, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Adam Falk, Walton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant John Standland, Washington County Sheriff’s Office

2018 Commanders Academy Graduating Class VII

For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Commanders Academy, visit:

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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