Our History

The History of the Florida Sheriffs Association

Founded in 1893, the Florida Sheriffs Association is one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation -- unifying Florida sheriffs in purpose and voice for the protection of Florida’s citizens and visitors. A not-for-profit corporation, FSA membership is made up of the 67 sheriffs of Florida plus 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 private citizens throughout the state who support local law enforcement.


Historical listing: Past presidents of the Florida Sheriffs Association, 1893-present

For more than 120 years, the Florida Sheriffs Association has been at the forefront of many substantial issues affecting our state. Following are a few achievements and other notable accomplishments, all of which directly affect the quality of law enforcement in each community throughout the state:

  • 1955 – FSA created the Florida Sheriffs' Bureau, forerunner to what is known today as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
  • 1957 – FSA founded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, whose mission is to prevent delinquency and develop strong, lawful, resilient and productive citizens who will make a positive contribution to our communities for years to come.
  • 1963 – FSA founded the Florida Law Enforcement Academy, the first statewide training center for city, county and state law-enforcement officers.
  • 1967 – Florida sheriffs were instrumental in the creation of the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission which establishes a training curriculum for law enforcement, corrections and correctional probation officers and serves as the certification body for officers and training centers.
  • 1978 – FSA helped create a way to provide affordable insurance programs for individual Sheriffs' Offices with the founding of the Florida Sheriffs Self-Insurance Fund. The program has saved taxpayers millions of dollars on liability claims and annual premiums.
  • 1979 – FSA helped organize the Florida Sheriffs Explorers Association to encourage young people to "explore" careers in law enforcement.
  • 1995 – FSA pioneered accreditation in the state and was co-founder of the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation – a program that encourages law-enforcement agencies to maintain the highest standards of professional law enforcement for our communities. As vacancies are created on the commission, the FSA president is responsible for appointing their replacement.
  • 1995 – Florida sheriffs were instrumental in the creation of the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute which provides executive level training for criminal justice executives through out the state.
  • 1998 – FSA helped to create the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission and has been a leader in developing "minimum standards" for law enforcement and corrections in the state and nation. FSA was the first to certify Florida Jail Inspectors under these programs and continues to offer the only Jail Inspector Certification course and certification in the state.
  • 2007– FSA launched the Teen Driver Challenge to help combat the high crash and fatality rate of teen drivers. The program has rapidly expanded and is now available in nearly half of Florida’s counties.

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