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Florida Sheriffs Association Announces the 2018 Commanders Academy Graduating Class

May 25, 2018

Today, sheriff deputies and personnel representing 29 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 Commanders 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.

“The sixth graduating class goes to show why the Commanders Academy has been recognized as an esteemed program for public safety leaders,” said FSA President and Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “This training program prepares commanders to be proactive in leading modern policing.”

“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,” said Steve Casey, executive director of the Florida Sheriffs Association.

In addition to successfully completing this two-week training course, Commanders Academy Class 6 also raised $27,850 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 30 graduates of the 2018 Commanders Academy.

FSA Commanders Academy Class VI:

  • Bureau Chief Michelle Klement, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant James S. Vestal, Jr., Bay County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Chris Williams, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office
  • Assistant Chief Patrick Golemme, Clay County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Joseph Ellis, Collier County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Todd Lussier, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office
  • Commander Lou Miceli, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain David Varnes, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant John McMurdo, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Darin Hood, Highlands County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Anthony Civita, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sergeant/Investigator Billy Benton, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Assistant Chief Steve Gallaher, Jacksonville County Sheriff’s Office
  • Chief Audrey Smith, Leon County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Mark Kelly, Marion County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Farrel Owens, Jr., Miami-Dade County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Kevin Kirkpatrick, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Reginald Hosey, Orange County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Joseph Scutero, Orange County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Joseph Irizarry, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Paul Ellison, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Director Mary Shiver, Polk County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain David Ussery, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Timothy Enos, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Cornelius Blue, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Russell Martin, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Steve Sessoms, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office
  • Captain Buddy Lee, Taylor County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lieutenant Bryan Bernard, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
  • Major Mike Kemp, Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office

2018 Commanders Academy Graduating Class VI

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