MCSO - Marion County Sheriff’s Office - MCSO
SHERIFF EMERY A. GAINEY
Sheriff of Marion County
Prior to becoming the Sheriff of Marion County, Emery A. Gainey was a member of the Attorney General’s senior executive management team. He has served as the Director of Law Enforcement, Victim Services & Criminal Justice Programs for the Florida Attorney General. He was the liaison between federal, state and local law enforcement administrators. Sheriff Gainey played a key role in the development, implementation and execution of the Attorney General’s criminal justice related initiatives while also overseeing the Division of Victim Services.
Before joining the Attorney General's Office in 2007, Sheriff Gainey served with the Alachua County Sheriffs Office for 25 years, holding several key positions during his tenure including: Chief Deputy (Chief of Staff & Chief Financial Officer), Division Commander of the Uniform Patrol, Homeland Security Commander as well as many others.
Sheriff Gainey is a member of the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, FBI National Academy Associates, Florida Chapter, and serves on numerous community boards and professional organizations.
Sheriff Gainey is a Graduate of the University of Florida, with a degree in Criminal Justice, and a Graduate of the FBI National Academy, 188th session.
Marion County Sheriff's Office
692 NW 30th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34475
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is made up of over 750 diverse and dedicated men and women, striving every day to serve the citizens of Marion County to the best of their ability.
We look forward to engaging our community in new ways and strengthening our alliance with the Board of County Commissioners to provide a safe environment for our family and yours.
To enhance the quality of life in Marion County by working cooperatively with the public and within the framework of the Constitution to enforce laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear and provide a safe environment.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is proud to be part of a growing community and is dedicated to providing our citizens with the highest level of law enforcement and public service. Our Agency strives to set industry standards and provide a community-minded approach to crime prevention and criminal justice. Our employees, united in a spirit of teamwork, take pride in performing their duties and are dedicated to live by values reflecting a genuine desire to safeguard the public.
Chief Gregg Jerald
Administrative Services Bureau
Chief Jerald is a member of
The Florida Bar in good standing
SOUTH-MARION DISTRICT OFFICE
9048 SW SR 200
Ocala, Fl 34481
Phone: (352) 402-6060
Fax: (352) 854-1377
Lt. Charles Welch
South-Marion District Commander
South-Marion District Office
Hello! I’m Lieutenant C.T. Welch and I’m the District Commander for the Southwest District for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. I have been serving with the Sheriff’s Office since 1993. During this time, I have worked as a Patrol Deputy, Field Training Officer, D.A.R.E. Officer, Community Policing Officer, Property Crimes Investigator, Crisis Negotiator Team Leader, Field Force Team Leader, Juvenile Unit Supervisor, Patrol Supervisor, and District Commander.
The Southwest District has numerous residential areas within it such as, On Top of the World, Oak Run, Palm Cay, Marion Landing and the Pine Run, to name a few. There are also numerous commercial businesses that take advantage of the State Road 200 and the Highway 40 corridors. The latest population figures indicate that this area has approximately 40, 500 residents living within this district’s boundaries, which totals 77.7 square miles. Currently there are 14 deputies, and a secretary assigned to the Southwest District. My office is located at the Brian Litz SR 200 building, which is located at 9048 SW Highway 200. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5. We have a community meeting room that is available for non-profit groups to use, at no charge. Our office number is 352-402-6060. We have Citizens on Patrol (COPS) volunteer group that patrols the many neighborhoods and businesses in the Southwest District. If you would like to join and volunteer your time, please stop by the office and pick up a Volunteer Application.
Public Record Request for MCSO Lynching Records
From my PRR to [Chief Gregg Jerald] and Captain Vyse May 12, 2016:
John Richards, a black man, was lynched on February 17, 1915 in Marion County Florida for allegedly sending an insulting note to a white woman.
Attached you will find Chapter 5, "The End of Lynching in Marion County", from "Lethal Punishment: Lynchings and Legal Executions in the South" by author Margaret Vandiver, a retired professor from the University of Memphis.
Professor Vandiver wrote in Lethal Punishment, Chapter 5, pages 71-72,
"A striking aspect of lynching in Marion County is the frequency with which mobs took their victims from the custody of law enforcement, apparently meeting little or no resistance. Of the fifteen cases in which I have been able to determine the circumstances of the suspect's capture by the mob, all but two involved suspects already in the custody of law enforcement officers."
"Between 1885 and 1930, nineteen black men were lynched in Marion County, nine of them for sexual offenses. Marion County lynchings were public affairs, often carried out before hundreds of witnesses, but none of the perpetrators was prosecuted." (p 70)
Request Lynching Records Marion County S[...]
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Blair suspended, Emery Gainey named interim sheriff
Blair suspended, Emery
Gainey named interim Marion sheriff
May 20, 2016
Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair is out of jail after being indicted for perjury and misconduct on Friday.
Sheriff Chris Blair booked into Marion Jail on Friday
Grand jury says Blair lied under oath about an arrest
Gov. Rick Scott has suspended Blair, appointed interim Sheriff
All of this stems from an excessive force investigation into the Sheriff’s Office.
Governor Rick Scott quickly appointed an interim sheriff, Emery Gainey. He was working in the Attorney General’s Office as the Director of Law Enforcement, Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs.
At a news conference on Friday evening, he said he wasn’t given much notice. He got the call Friday morning and now he has to move from Tallahassee to Ocala to step in. Read more
Blair suspended, Emery Gainey named inte[...]
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Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair indicted for perjury; interim sheriff appointed
By Justin L. Miller
May 20, 2016
A grand jury has indicted Sheriff Chris Blair on two counts of perjury in an official proceeding and one count of official misconduct in connection with a broad investigation of his agency and its deputies.
If convicted of the charges, all third-degree felonies, Blair could face up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines on each count.
Gov. Rick Scott suspended Blair on Friday and appointed Emery Gainey, an official with the Attorney General's Office who once worked at the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, to serve as interim sheriff. (See related story.)
Blair was booked into the Marion County Jail on Friday and was released about 3:30 p.m. after posting bond. A Star-Banner reporter and photographer were turned away from Blair's home later in the afternoon. A little while after that, all deputies were sworn in again to serve under the interim sheriff.
"The MCSO is going through an immediate transition and will provide further information in a responsible and timely manner," Blair's spokeswoman wrote in a news release issued about 4 p.m.
The grand jury has been investigating the conduct of sheriff's deputies and determining whether wrongdoing, such as using excessive force, was systemic. Blair was subpoenaed to appear before that grand jury and, when he did, he "knowingly testified falsely" concerning the Dustin Heathman case, according to the indictment, which the panel handed up Thursday afternoon.
Deputies arrested Heathman on June 1, 2014, after a tense and sometimes violent standoff with the SWAT team. Heathman shot at deputies; during the arrest, one deputy would later admit, Heathman was struck without cause.
Blair was on the scene and, in particular, was present when Heathman eventually was taken into custody and treated for his wounds. Read more
Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair indict[...]
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Editorial: A sad and embarrassing day for Marion County
In Our Opinion
May 20, 2016
The indictment and ensuing suspension of Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair cast a significant pall on the man and the office he leads and should be of great concern to the people of Marion County who elected him.
Blair was arrested on Friday after a grand jury indicted him on three felony counts: two counts of perjury and one count of official misconduct. He was suspended by Gov. Rick Scott, who tapped Emery Gainey as interim sheriff. Gainey is director of the Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice Programs for the Florida Attorney General’s Office.
Blair’s defenders will be quick to point out that in this country we are all innocent until proven guilty. And they are right. Yet, grand juries do not return indictments lightly, especially against sitting sheriffs. The panel believed Blair lied to them, based on more than his testimony.
The particular case about which Blair is accused of lying was a piece of a larger probe into the use of excessive force within the Sheriff’s Office — spurred by the now-infamous August 2014 beating of Derrick Price in Marion Oaks. The case involved Dustin Heathman, who is now serving a life sentence for his role in a wild shootout with the sheriff’s SWAT team, also in 2014. After he was taken into custody, Heathman alleges he was beaten. The grand jury claims Blair lied about whether he saw Heathman and his wounds in the immediate aftermath of the beating. They are not inconsequential charges, especially in light of the focus of the grand jury’s inquery.
Unfortunately, the lying charge fits a pattern of Blair making statements that have been less than truthful — and in a range of settings, from the campaign trail to County Commission meetings to interactions with this newspaper. Even before Blair was elected, State Attorney Brad King warned that he played fast and loose with the rules when he was MCSO’s top detective. Blair’s fine by the Florida Commission Ethics for financial irregularities during the 2012 campaign — and his denials of misconduct — further tarnished Blair’s credibility.
Blair will surely contest the charges. Yet, his continued candidacy for sheriff should be questioned. There is little likelihood the case will be resolved by the August primaries and, frankly, Blair is facing knowledgeable, credible, experienced opponents in Republicans Kerry Crawford and Billy Woods and Democrats Ed Dean and Dennis McFatten.
Moreover, no segment of the community will suffer more from the fallout of the indictment than the nearly 800 employees of the Sheriff’s Office. Already there is uneasiness and fear among many of its employees about what comes next. Who might be next? Who will be the boss tomorrow, next month, after November?
We urge the people of Marion County to show their support and respect for the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office during what is a difficult time for them on and off the job.
Accusations that there is a "culture of violence" in the Sheriff’s Office by both outside investigators and former employees has led to the imprisonment of four former deputies and the trial and acquittal of a fifth. Now, the sheriff is under indictment and suspended as part of that investigation.
It is a time like this when a man hopes he has a good reputation to fall back on. Regrettably, Blair forfeited that long ago in too many circles. No matter what happens next, this was a sad and embarrassing day for Marion County.
Editorial - A sad and embarrassing day f[...]
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Published on Jan 8, 2013
The Marion County Sheriff's Office was the location for the Oath of Office Ceremony on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. The Honorable Judge Hale Stancil performed the Oath of Office with our new Sheriff, Chris Blair. The ceremony will included the swearing-in of all MCSO sworn officers. The ceremony was held in the parking lot of the Sheriff's Office Main Operations Complex, 692 NW 30th Avenue, Ocala.
The ceremony included the MCSO Pipes and Drums Band, Honor Guard, and a new vehicle static display. This event was open to the public. Refreshments were served in the lobby.
History Page Nineteen _ Marion County Sh[...]
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Marion County Sheriff’s Office Under Fire for Payroll
The Fifth Column
by Justin King
February 28, 2015
Ocala, FL (TFC) – Marion County Sheriff’s Office has done it again. Sheriff Chris Blair is restructuring the six bureaus that currently exist within the agency by forming the Bureau of Homeland Security and Professional Compliance, which will include Emergency Management.
The person that will be overseeing this new Bureau of Homeland Security and Professional Compliance is going to be Terry Bovaird. He was recently rehired with a starting salary of $102,568.86. After he retired a little over 6 months ago
Bovaird is participating in what’s known as DROP, short for the Deferred Retirement Option Program.
According to the Florida Department of Management Services, Bovaird received a DROP payout of $339,175.79 when he retired in June. He also started drawing a monthly retirement payment of $6,561.15.
Under DROP rules, Bovaird couldn’t work for the sheriff or any state employer for six months. If he did, he would have voided his retirement benefits.
Once the six months passed, he could be rehired. His monthly retirement payment will be suspended until June 2015.
This double dipping tactic is nothing new to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The truth is most of their top officers have retired from Marion County Sheriff’s Office only to later be rehired.
Let’s start with Sheriff Chris Blair. He received a DROP payout of $448,435.21. Next on the list is Deputy Chief Fred LaTorre who received a DROP payout of $341,725.68. Then you have Major Tommy Bibb. He received a DROP payout of $338,763.77. Last but not least, Major Don Maines, who received a DROP payout of 253,979.07. This is on top of their $100,000.00 plus salaries.
Marion Sheriff's Office: Video proves Chris Blair lied
Marion Sheriff's Office: Video proves Chris
By Sarah Panko, Marion County Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 11:28 PM
OCALA -- The Marion County Sheriff’s Office released video that shows the former Marion County Sheriff was allegedly lying while under oath.
- 2014 video shows Dustin Heathman with injuries passing by former sheriff
- Sheriff Chris Blair was indicted and suspended Friday
- Chief Deputy Fred LaTorre to retire in June
The 2014 video shows suspect Dustin Heathman handcuffed in his underwear, being escorted by two deputies with apparent injuries to his face.
You see Heathman and the deputies walk up to a vehicle where former Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair is standing. The video shows Blair stepping back to let Heathman and the deputies pass by to get to the back of that vehicle.
The Grand Jury investigated the conduct of deputies for using excessive force in making arrests. Blair was subpoenaed to testify. While testifying, Blair said he never saw Heathman's face and only saw the back of him.
On Friday, Blair was arrested and indicted for two counts of perjury and official misconduct.
A day later, Interim Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey suspended two Marion County Sheriff’s Office Majors and placed them on administrative leave.
The Sheriff's Office also said Tuesday that Chief Deputy Fred LaTorre is retiring in June. Read more
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2 Marion County Sheriff’s Office majors resign
2 Marion County Sheriff’s Office majors resign
WESH 2 News
May 27, 2016
MARION COUNTY, Fla. —Two high-ranking Marion County Sheriff’s Office employees have resigned just days after they were suspended by interim Sheriff Emery Gainey.
Maj. Don Maines, who oversaw the Bureau of Professional Standards, and Maj. Tommy Bibb, who oversaw the Bureau of Special Investigations, resigned from their positions this week.
Bibb was with the sheriff’s office for 28 years. Maines was employed by the sheriff’s office for three years. They were both appointed to their positions by Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair in 2011.
Both men were placed on administrative leave one day after Blair was arrested. The sheriff’s office did comment on why either of the men had been suspended.
Blair is charged with two counts of perjury in an official proceeding and one count of official misconduct, both felony charges.
Court records show the grand jury had been investigating the conduct of Blair's deputies and the possible use of excessive force.
Blair had been subpoenaed to testify, and jurors found probable cause that Blair lied when he was questioned about injuries suffered by a suspect.
From the indictment, the grand jury found probable cause that Blair knowingly gave false testimony in the case of Dustin Heathman.
Heathman was accused of shooting at a SWAT team during a 2014 standoff in northwest Marion County. According to court documents, that suspect appeared to have injuries to his face.
But when Blair was asked if he could see the suspect's injuries, Blair said no and that he only saw his back.
However, the indictment reads that Blair was actually so close to the suspect that he had to move out of the way when deputies escorted the suspect from the scene.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed Gainey to take the helm until a new sheriff is elected in November. Read online
2 Marion County Sheriff’s Office majors [...]
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2 Marion County Sheriff's Office majors suspended
May 22, 2016
OCALA -- The Marion County Sheriff's Office announced on Saturday that two majors had been suspended and placed on paid administrative leave.
Moves follow appointment of interim sheriff by Gov. Rick Scott
Former Marion Sheriff Blair indicted for perjury, misconduct Friday
Interim Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey suspended Major Don Maines of the Bureau of Professional Standards and Major Tommy Bibb of the Bureau of Special Investigations, placing them on paid administrative leave. Officials stated that there is no active MCSO internal affairs investigation being conducted in relation to the suspensions.
The suspension period for the two majors is indefinite, according to MCSO officials.
The personnel moves come in the wake of Sheriff Gainey being appointed to the position of interim Sheriff by Gov. Rick Scott this week. Gainey assumed the duties of suspended Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair, who was indicted Friday on perjury and misconduct charges following an investigation into a 2014 standoff between deputies and suspect Dustin Heathman. Read more
2 Marion County Sheriff's Office majors [...]
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MCSO Chief Deputy Fred LaTorre is retiring June 2016
Chief LaTorre has over 30 years of combined law enforcement, corrections and emergency management experience. He has a dual bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and public administration as well as a master’s degree in criminal justice. Chief LaTorre is a graduate of the 72 A.O.C. Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville and the 166th Session of the F.B.I. National Academy. Chief LaTorre has command responsibility over all day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office. MCSO website
MEET THE CHIEF DEPUTY — Marion County Sh[...]
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ABA & NAACP: Racial Bias in Criminal Justice System
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history. - President Obama
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund YouTube channel
Must-Read Reactions To Grand Jury Decision in Tamir Rice Case
ABA & NAACP: Racial Bias in Criminal Justice System
American Bar Association (ABA)
By Debra Cassens Weiss
July 16, 2015
The ABA and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational fund have issued a joint statement addressing the "troubling and destabilizing loss of public confidence in the American criminal justice system."
The statement (PDF) notes the "recent spate of killings of unarmed African American men and women at the hands of white law enforcement officers." While the ABA and the Fund believe that "the overwhelming percentage" of police, prosecutors and judges are not racist, "explicit bias remains a real factor in our country—and criminal justice system—and implicit or unconscious bias affects even those who may believe themselves to be fair," the statement says.
"The American criminal justice is unquestionably at a moment of crisis," the statement says. Read more
- An ABA press release is here
I Have Been to the Mountaintop - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Published on Jan 28, 2016
The United States Department of Justice announced that former Marion County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jesse Terrell was indicted on a civil rights violation.
Terrell, along with four other deputies — James Amidei, Trevor Fitzgerald, Adam Crawford and Cody Hoppel — had been suspended without pay for his involvement in a drug-related arrest warrant regarding Derrick Price. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office discovered this video recording during a use-of-force investigation.
Bad to The Bone 2016
Published on May 16, 2016
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office started the Bad to the Bone competition in 2008 and have held it every October since. Each year, SWAT teams and other members of Florida law enforcement agencies are invited to participate. Teams and individuals face 17 challenging obstacles and different competitions such as a Tough Man competition, a Baddest Gal Alive division, a Men’s Five Member Team competition, and a Tough Men Over 40 division.
Bad to the Bone allows for individuals to build upon their own respective talents as well as display their ability to work as a team. This competition helps teams
prepare for the annual
Orlando SWAT Round-up competition in November. The event is free to participants, family and friends who want to cheer on their loved ones.
Bad to the Bone
"Bad to the Bone" is a song by George Thorogood and the Destroyers released in 1982 on the album of the same name. While it was not widely popular during its initial release, its video made recurrent appearances on the nascent MTV, created a year before. Licensing for films, television, and commercials has since made the song more popular. Read more