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Commanders Academy

2016 Commanders Academy

"The FSA Commanders Academy is an exceptionally informative and educational experience that is essential for the generation of future leaders in your organization. This Academy provides a comprehensive curriculum and offers programs on leadership skills, business and personal ethics, management training and other topics as they relate to the law enforcement profession. A leader must attain a level of competence by achieving various milestones in their career and I believe they will gain those key elements in this Commanders Academy. This Academy will give your supervisors an opportunity to succeed by providing them with the best possible training tools to do their jobs and carry out the mission of law enforcement in a manner that reflects the positives of our profession.". -- Sheriff Sadie Darnell, Florida Sheriffs Association President

Week 1: Monday, March 7 — Friday, March 11, 2016
Week 2: Monday, April 4 — Friday, April 8, 2016

Florida Sheriffs Association Training Center, 2617 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL

The Commanders Academy will be advertised to our sheriffs in December, 2015, with registration beginning in January, 2016. Due to the class size being restricted to 30 participants, sheriffs should nominate only one candidate from their respective offices.

Congratulations! The 2015 Commanders Academy was held March 16-20 and April 20-24.

The 2014 Commanders Academy was held June 2-6 and July 7-11, 2014. Read our blog post about the graduating class and the meaning behind leadership. 

The 2014 Commanders Academy: The legacy continues

The Florida Sheriffs Institute Commanders Academy graduated its second class July 11, 2014. Class 2, comprised of 29 commanders representing 26 sheriffs’ Offices, took the legacy established by the charter class to an even higher level. 

For years, our sheriffs have recognized the value of having their own academy for middle to upper level managers. Their vision reached fruition with the development of the Commanders Academy in 2013. The core curriculum focuses on topics such as: 

  • Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Discipline
  • News Media Relations

The curriculum is threaded throughout with issues that are unique to the culture of the Office of the Sheriff. Highly respected subject matter experts give the presentations that are followed by either scenario practicums or panel discussions with sheriffs and chief deputies. Additionally, each class has a comprehensive exit interview and their comments are used to make adjustments to keep the content fresh. 


The charter class of 2013 made a donation to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch. Captain Paul Blackman of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, the president of the charter class, spoke on the opening day of class 2 and challenged the participants to make this a tradition. Class 2, under the leadership of Captain Charlie Thorpe of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, accepted the challenge and the class raised over $8,000 for the Youth Ranch. Two other traditions were also begun. The first involved the entire class gathering at the Sheriffs’ Memorial to Fallen Deputies each morning for a moment of silence followed by a Pledge of Allegiance to the United States. The second was presenting a United States flag that had flown over the Florida Sheriffs Association building to the Youth Ranch along with the check. These rich traditions will undoubtedly be continued by following classes. 

Meet the Members of Class 2014

Alpha by last name:

Sommer Adams
Andrew Batchelder
Michael Branningn
Patrick Breeden 
Bill Currid
Tony Davis
Paul Davis 
Robert Dees
Darren Scott Edwards
Dominic Esposito
Stephen Feeley
Jennifer Freeman
Ronald Hodges
Michael Holbrook
Dennis Joiner
Susan Jones
James Lanier
Drew Lee
Jeff Manning
John Poling
Jonathan Rackard 
Mark Raiche
Scotty Rhoden 
Chris Sharpe
Charlie Thorpe
Andrew Walters
Scott Wells
William Werle
Tim Wood
St. Johns County
Hernando County
Bay County
Sumter County
Walton County
Duval County
Hardee County
Columbia County
Jackson County
Seminole County
Broward County
Polk County
Clay County
Pinellas County
Marion County
Manatee County
Alachua County
Lee County
Gilchrist County
Collier County
Washington County
Baker County
Columbia County
Sarasota County
Brevard County
St. Lucie County
St. Johns County
Gulf County

















If you have questions about the Commanders Academy, email FSA Law Enforcement Coordinator David Brand

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2617 Mahan Drive • Tallahassee, FL 32308 1-800-877-2168