Hall of Fame Recipients
Carol Marbin Miller, BS 1981; Senior Investigative Reporter, The Miami Herald – Ms. Marbin Miller has earned numerous state and national awards for her investigative reporting and authoritative journalism. Her work of over 30 years has examined difficult and challenging issues, such as the ways in which disabled and foster children are managed by state agencies, the regulation and neglect of assisted living facilities, and the involuntary commitment of elderly persons. Her impactful reporting has led to many legislative and regulatory changes by state and local governments.
Dr. Raymond Paternoster (Posthumously), PhD 1978; Distinguished Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland, College Park – Dr. Paternoster was one of the most productive and influential scholars in his field. His path-breaking research in criminal deterrence, the death penalty, and rational choice in criminal decision making has generated four authored books, twenty-six chapters in edited volumes, and more than one hundred articles in refereed journals. Dr. Paternoster was awarded $1.2M in external research funding. He also mentored a number of the most productive criminology scholars in the field.
David M. Rahinsky, MS 2011; Chief of Police, Grand Rapids, Michigan – Chief Rahinsky has an outstanding 23-year career of faithful service as a police officer. Throughout his career, he has provided progressively responsible police leadership in major metropolitan areas. He has served for over 13 years as a Chief, managing investigations, operations and administration divisions. Chief Rahinsky has brought greater accountability, professionalism, camaraderie and responsiveness to the departments he has served, resulting in vastly improved community relations.
Brian Michael Stephens, BS 1997; Global Corporate Security Executive, Bank of America Corporation – Mr. Stephens has over two decades of public service and corporate security responsibility experience. Following graduation, he established the regional training standards at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and later led the expansion of criminal justice information services in 18 Florida counties. He has become a nationally recognized expert in corporate security, especially during the events of 9/11. Yesterday was Brian’s final role in his 2-year term as Chair of the Dean’s Development Council; he will continue to serve as a valued council member.
JOHN P.J. DUSSICH
Professor John P. J. Dussich is a three-time graduate from Florida State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology, a master’s degree in Corrections and Criminology, and a doctorate in Criminology and Sociology.
Professor Dussich has spent the majority of his career working in the field of victimology, specializing in victimology and victim services. He is the Creator and Founder of the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA). He launched NOVA in Fresno, CA, in 1976, and served as its first Executive Director for four years. Professor Dussich has also been active in the World Society of Victimology (WSV) serving as the Society’s founding Secretary General for nine years and its Immediate Past President. Professor Dussich taught for 20 years in Japan where he was the Director of the Tokiwa International Victimology Institute (TIVI) and the Editor-in-Chief of its journal:
International Perspectives in Victimology.
Additionally, Professor Dussich served in the US Army for 29 years and retired as full Colonel from the Military Police Corp. He is currently a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology at California State University. Professor Dussich is also a crisis responder and over his career has logged hundreds of hours as a volunteer working in disasters around the world. He is a prolific author and academic, having published 16 books, written 104 articles, and made 199 presentations. His most recent international work has been at the United Nations in Vienna as Chair of the WSV’s UN Liaison Committee on behalf of victims’ rights. On April 12, 2016, he received the Ronald Reagan Public Policy Award from Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Steven D. Harriett
Steven Daryl Harriett received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in 1975. He then earned his master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Rollins College in 1980.
Upon completing his course work at FSU he joined the Sanford Police Department as a police officer-patrolman in 1975. He moved through the ranks, including an assignment as the Assistant City Manager, to become Chief of Police in 1985 at the age of 32. In 1993, he was appointed by Sheriff Don Eslinger as the Undersheriff of Seminole County, FL where he has continually served for the past 24 years. In 2011, Undersheriff Harriett temporarily returned to the Sanford Police Department to serve as the city’s Interim Chief of Police during a national search for a permanent chief.
Undersheriff Harriett received the Sheriff’s Commendation Medal in 1998 and again in 2011. He has been recognized throughout his career by numerous organizations to include the 18th Judicial Circuit Victim Rights Leadership Award, the Order of DeMolay’s Legion of Honor Award, the Boys & Girls Club of America National Service to Youth Award, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee Humanitarian Award.
Undersheriff Harriett is a Past Chair and current member of the Seminole State College Criminal Justice Advisory Committee and Past President and current member of the Central Florida Criminal Justice Association.
Undersheriff Harriett and Susie, his wife of thirty-nine years, have one son, Steven, Jr., daughter-in-law, Laura, and three wonderful grandsons – Trip, Mikey, and CharBo.
Marvin D. Krohn
Since earning his doctorate in 1974, Professor Marvin D. Krohn has held positions at Western Illinois University, University of Iowa, State University of New York at Albany, and is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida.
Professor Krohn has a long-standing interest in the etiology of delinquency and drug use, focusing primarily on social process and life course approaches. For the past 29 years, he has been a Co-Principal Investigator on the Rochester Youth Development Study, a three-generational longitudinal panel study targeting those at high risk for serious crime and delinquency. His co-authored book, Gangs and Delinquency in Developmental Perspective, was the American Society of Criminology’s recipient of the 2003 Michael J. Hindelang Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Professor Krohn also co-authored Delinquent Behavior and Researching Theories of Crime and Delinquency, and has co-edited six compendiums on crime and delinquency. In addition, he has contributed numerous research articles and book chapters.
Professor Krohn is a former Vice President and Executive Counselor of the American Society of Criminology, and was named a Fellow. He has won teaching awards at both SUNY Albany and the University of Florida, and most recently was presented with the Outstanding Mentor Award by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
James T. Moore (Tim)
Commissioner Tim Moore’s career with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement saw unprecedented success in its more than 30 years. During that time, he served in a variety of leadership capacities and was appointed commissioner of FDLE in 1988 by Gov. Bob Martinez. His reappointments by Govs. Chiles, McKay, and Bush made him the longest serving commissioner in FDLE history.
During his Florida government tenure, Commissioner Moore was appointed to numerous boards and commissions, such as President George W. Bush’s Homeland Security Advisory Commission, where Moore served as the only Floridian, the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, and the Florida Domestic Security Anti-Terrorism efforts after the attacks on September 11. Moore also served as a member and chairman of the National Commission on
Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, and spent more than 12 years representing Florida and Georgia on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Moore also received countless awards and accolades during his extensive career in public service. He is an honorary “Sheriff” of the State of Florida and was appointed “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine in 1999.
William D. Sullivan, USN (Retired)
Vice Adm. Bill Sullivan graduated from Florida State University’s School of Criminology in June 1972. He received his Navy commission in September 1972 following graduation from officer candidate school in Newport, RI.
During his 37 years of active duty, Vice Adm. Sullivan served in a variety of sea-going assignments including cruiser, destroyer and frigate class surface ships, and aircraft carrier strike group staffs. He commanded the guided missile destroyer USS SAMPSON (DDG 10) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, deploying to the Red Sea while enforcing United Nations sanctions on Iraq. From 1997 to 1999, he commanded the Aegis guided missile cruiser USS COWPENS (CG 63), deploying to the Persian Gulf and executing Tomahawk strike operations against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Vice Adm. Sullivan has served in a variety of staff positions. Joint assignments include director for Pacific Operations on the Joint Staff (J-3), director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) at U.S. Pacific Command, and vice director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff. From 1999 to 2001, he served as commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Korea. Prior to his retirement from active duty, Vice Adm. Sullivan served as the U.S. representative to the NATO Military Committee, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.
Vice Adm. Sullivan is a member of the Veterans Advisory Board for the Florida State University Veterans Legacy Complex which will house student-veteran programs, the Army and Air Force ROTC offices, and the archives and offices of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience.
William S. Cheek
Bill Cheek is the Director of Security for Swisher International, Inc. He is responsible for the security of facilities and for the safety and security of Swisher’s employees. Swisher operates facilities across the United States and in the Dominican Republic.
Bill retired in 2001 from the FBI after 30 years of service as a special agent. During his tenure, he held a variety of supervisory positions and was the Chief Division Public Affairs Coordinator. He had collateral duties as the Division Team Leader for Crisis Management, Hostage Negotiations, Criminal Psychological Profiles, and Drug Demand Reduction.
Additionally, he has held investigative and supervisory positions at the national headquarters of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the Naval Investigative Service. He began his law enforcement career in 1964 as a Reserve Police Officer in Daytona Beach, Florida. In 1965 he was hired as a Police Officer for Florida State University’s Campus Police Department and in 1967 he joined the Tallahassee Police Department. He was a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Reserve.
He earned his B.S. in Criminology from Florida State University and his M.S. in Community Development from the University of Louisville. Bill is a Life Member of the FSU Alumni Association, a member of the FSU Alumni Club of Jacksonville, and a charter member of the Kentucky Seminole Club.
He was selected as a “Grad Made Good” by FSU in 2001. He has received several awards including the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal for “Outstanding Achievement” from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” from the Optimist Club. The FBI awarded him the rank of Master Police Instructor in recognition of his many teaching accomplishments.
Bill co-founded First Coast Crime Stoppers, Inc. He was a Board of Directors member and Chairman of the Law Enforcement Committee of Area Wide Alcohol/Drug Rehabilitation, Education and Enforcement Coalition in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a founding member of the Kentucky Crime Prevention Association and served as President for ten years. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Peace Officers Association and the Kentucky Police Chiefs Association.
Bill is married to Kathy, an FSU graduate. They have two married, grown daughters, three grandsons, and a granddaughter.
James D. Sewell, Ph.D.
Jim retired as Assistant Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in February 2005, following a 32-year career with university, municipal, and state law enforcement agencies in Florida. Since his retirement from active law enforcement, he has provided training and management consulting services to a number of law enforcement and social services agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and professional associations.
He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Criminology from Florida State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He has published two textbooks, one in its third edition, and over fifty journal articles and book chapters, principally on law enforcement management and law enforcement stress. He has served as adjunct faculty in Criminology and Criminal Justice at both Florida State University and the University of South Florida.
Active in community affairs, he has served as a Gubernatorial appointee on the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, Chair of the St. Petersburg Civil Service Board, and on the boards of directors of a number of community and not-for-profit organizations, including Pinellas Association for Retarded Children, Drug Free America Foundation, Pinellas Marine Institute, CrimeStoppers of Pinellas County, Community Action Stops Abuse, Tallahassee Community College Public Safety Housing Corporation, Alumni and Friends of FSU College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Florida Network of Youth and Family Services. He is a Life Member of both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA). In 2010, he was named to the FPCA’s Wall of Honor for contributions to the Association and the law enforcement profession.
Jesse C. Vance
Jesse Vance is President of North American On-Site, LLC, an Atlanta, Georgia-based international company that provides contract contingent employees and workforce management services to Fortune 1000 companies in the automotive, manufacturing, distribution, call center, recycling, and skill trade industry sectors. Jesse holds a B.S. in Criminology from Florida State University.
Jesse has been in the staffing industry more than 30 years. He launched his first staffing company in 1994 as Founder and CEO of the APS Group. Through his leadership and vision, Jesse has started and successfully sold three staffing companies.
Jesse is a member of the Seminole Boosters, Seminole Boosters Board of Directors, Golden Chief, NAOS Board of Directors, FSU Alumni Association (Lifetime Member), FSU College of Criminology and Criminal Justice Board of Directors (Immediate Past Chair), Pi Kappa Alpha FSU/Delta Lambda Legacy Campaign (Past Georgia Chairman), and NATS.
Jesse and his wife, Nancy, have three sons, Josh, Jake, and Joe. Josh graduate from FSU in 2008. While at FSU, he was a member of the FSU Football Team and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. In 2011 Josh received his MPA from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He is currently in law enforcement and is a member of his department’s SWAT Team. Jake graduated from FSU in 2013 with a degree in Criminology. While at FSU, Jake was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Jake currently resides in New York and is working toward earning his Masters Degree in Film Production from the New York Film Academy. Joe is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and is the current President of the 243-member active brother chapter. Joe is in the FSU Honors College with a 3.8 GPA.
Dale T. Beerbower
An exemplary alumnus of Florida State College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Dale T. Beerbower has continually proven his dedication not only to his work, but to the field of Criminal Justice as a whole.
Beerbower was born in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, but at age 8, became a true Floridian when he and his family moved to Jacksonville.
He attended Jacksonville University (JU) where he played both, varsity baseball and soccer while majoring in Business Administration. His sophomore year, he signed with the San Francisco Giants Baseball Club, where he played professionally in their minor league system for three years. After a knee injury prevented him from continuing his baseball career, he began working at the Office of the Sheriff in Jacksonville. In 1963, he earned his BS degree in Business Administration.
While Deputy Sheriff, he received an Executive Development Fellowship from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) in the Department of Justice. Also during this time, he applied and was accepted to the Florida State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, from which he earned his Master’s degree in 1971.
After his reputable time with the Office of the Sheriff in Jacksonville, he became the Director of Police and Fire Science Programs at the Florida Community College at Jacksonville (FCCJ). During his time at the college several improvements were made, including increased enrollment, development of additional curriculum, and the building of a Regional Training Center.
Following a six year tenure with FCCJ, he was selected for a Manpower Development position with the LEAA in Atlanta, Georgia. One year later, he took a temporary work assignment with a Presidential Task Force located in the Office of Management and Budget in Washington D.C. focusing on the roles of law enforcement at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Other work assignments involved criminal justice training and education, as well as development and implementation of a national urban crime prevention program.
Prior to leaving the Washington, D.C. area, he held positions with the Selective Service System (SSS) which included the Director of the Uncompensated Training Division that involved developing training programs for local boards and Inspector General which focused on waste, fraud, and abuse in the organization.
After a decade with the federal government, he became the Director of Public Safety in Jacksonville, Florida. While serving in this capacity, a major reorganization was completed, along with a department master plan, and plans for a fire training center. Each of these accomplishments was done in partnership with FCCJ.
Following retirement, Dale and his wife, Peggy, enjoy spending time with family and friends. Considerable time is also spent at their condo on the St. Johns River where they enjoy fishing and boating with their granddaughters, Bethany and Madison.
John D. Rees
John D. Rees put his Florida State University (FSU) College of Criminology and Criminal Justice Master’s degree to good use by devoting his life to the pursuit of justice through his several highly regarded positions in the correctional profession.
In 1969, Rees received his BA in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Kentucky. One year later, he earned his MS in Criminology & Correctional Administration from FSU.
After John’s time as a Seminole, he returned to Kentucky where he worked as a caseworker supervisor with the Bureau of Corrections. Over the next 14 years, he served in a variety of positions with ever increasing responsibility in both Kentucky and Oklahoma until he was named Warden of the Kentucky State Reformatory, the largest adult institution in the state, in 1980.
John was a strong and active proponent for ACA accreditation during a period when few correctional facilities were accredited. During his career he advanced ACA accreditation as the standard for corrections operation. He served as a member of the standards committee, drafted standards, educated fellow correctional administrators, represented the profession in numerous legislative hearings, and authored publications concerning the process and value of accreditation.
In 1986, John joined the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and under his strong leadership, the accreditation process was introduced for the first time in several states.
Following several years as a private consultant, John was once again called into public service as Commissioner of Corrections in his home state of Kentucky. As Commissioner, John continued his energetic, unwavering commitment to excellence, not only continuing institutional accreditation, but also spearheading the Department’s first successful effort to gain ACA accreditation for the Division of Probation and Parole.
In addition, John contributed articles for trade journals such as Correctional News and Corrections Today and was a contributing author for A View from the Trenches: A Manual for Wardens by Wardens.
John has also been generous with his time serving as a consultant to the National Institute of Corrections, the National Institute of Justice, the National Academy of Corrections, The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the American Corrections Association Correctional Policy Advisory Committee. John is also a frequent guest lecturer in criminal justice at the University of Louisville and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
The Florida State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice is proud to call this trailblazer an alumnus.
J. Price Foster, Ph.D.
Dr. Foster has been a Professor of Justice Administration at the University of Louisville since September 1, 1981. In addition to this appointment, he served as Dean and Director of the School of Justice Administration (1981-1984), Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs (1983-1991) and University Liaison for the Urban Mission (1992-2000). Prior to coming to the University of Louisville, Dr. Foster was with the U.S. Dept of Justice as Director of the Office of Criminal Justice Education and Training, Director of the National Institute for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Deputy Director of the Office of juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
While with the U.S. Department of Justice, Dr. Foster received several outstanding performance awards and Attorney General citations for outstanding service to the Department. In 1982, Dr. Foster received the Outstanding Service Award, Nelson Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy , School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York at Albany.
Dr. Foster was a charter member and served ten years on the National Advisory Committee for State and Local Training of the Law Enforcement Training Center, U.S. Department of Treasury. He has served on several other national boards, including ten years on the Board of Directors of the National Criminal Justice Association. Dr. Foster also served as a board member and chair of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation from 2001 to 2009..
Locally, Dr. Foster is a 1984 graduate of Leadership Louisville, and he served on this board until 1996. He has also served on the Board of Directors for Metro United Way. He served as chair of the Board of Directors for the Presbyterian Community Center and is a member of the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. He also chaired the Public Safety Transition Committee for Mayor Jerry Abramson in 1989 and chaired the Mayor’s Transition Committee for Corrections in 2002. Dr. Foster enjoys a good relationship with his students. He has been nominated frequently for the University’s Trustees award (1996-2000, 2003-2008), and he received the award for Outstanding Faculty for Adult Learners (2000, 2007). He was honored to be selected one of the University’s top ten faculty favorites as determined by a vote of the students in 2005 and was nominated again for this recognition in 2006 through 2012.
Dr. Foster recently served as a consultant to evaluate the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok, Thailand and completed an evaluation of jails in Kentucky. He has traveled to Monrovia, Liberia to consult with the University of Liberia regarding the development of degree programs in criminal justice and has been working with the University of Belize for several years toward a similar objective . Dr. Foster regularly teaches courses in white collar crime, ethics in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and cross cultural perspectives in criminal justice.
Laura Bedard, Ph.D.
Laura Bedard started her career in corrections in a county jail in 1982. She then taught in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University from 1989 to 2005, where she served as director of the College’s internship program. Her specialty areas were student field placements, mental health and offender treatment. She has lectured worldwide and has published extensively in these areas.
Dr. Bedard earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from Florida State University in 1998. In 2005, she was selected to serve as Florida’s first female Deputy Secretary for the Department of Corrections. She held that post until 2008 when she joined Corrections Corporation of America. Dr. Bedard served as the Assistant Warden of Programs at Gadsden Correctional and was responsible for education, medical and mental health, food service, chaplaincy services, drug treatment and recreational programming. Dr. Bedard is currently the warden at Moore Haven Correctional Facility which houses 985 male offenders
Mr. Jerry Glass
Jerry Glass retired as an agent with the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1993, he knew he wanted to do something to help students who shared his love for law enforcement. Knowing all too well the difficulties of working full-time while pursuing a degree, he and his wife decided to create the Jerry and Carolyn Glass Scholarship, the first scholarship for criminology and criminal justice majors created by an alumnus of the school.
Jerry knew firsthand the benefits of a scholarship, having started his studies at FSU in the College of Business as the recipient of the J. Edwin Larson Scholarship. Soon realizing that his interest was in law enforcement, he forfeited the scholarship, became a working student, and changed his major to criminology. He soon secured his first law enforcement job as an agent with the State Beverage Department. Later, he became an enforcement officer with the Public Service Commission.
Upon earning his B.S. in criminology in 1971, he was hired as a special agent with the U.S. DOT. During his 23-year career, he had assignments in Florida, Nevada, and Louisiana, serving as special agent in charge in each of those offices. After retirement, he and Carolyn returned home to Marianna, where Jerry now works part-time as investigator with the public defender in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.
He has served as president of the Panhandle Seminole Boosters Club three times and on the club’s board. Through the Jerry and Carolyn Glass Scholarship Fund, he continues to prove his enduring dedication to helping students in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice to pursue their life’s goal.
Colonel Curtis D. Earp, Jr.
Colonel Curtis Earp, Jr. was born and raised in Madison County to Curtis Earp Sr., a Madison County judge, and Gwyndoline Earp, herself a Florida State College of Women and FSU alumna.
Immediately after earning a bachelor of science degree in criminology and graduating from Florida State’s ROTC program in 1960, Curt was commissioned as a regular Army officer in the military police. Curt’s distinguished 28-year military career included two combat tours of Vietnam and accolades such as the Silver Star, Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, a Purple Heart, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with one silver and two bronze stars.
Curt retired from the Army in 1986 with the rank of colonel to become the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Under his administration, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and State Patrol attained national prominence, emphasizing programs on quality of life, certification and professionalism. He later assumed command of the Georgia State Patrol before returning to Florida to assume the position as director of the Florida Marine Patrol, the law enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources. Appointed by Virginia Wetherell, Curt was tasked with enforcing all commercial and sports fishing laws, boat registration and safety regulations, and protecting the state’s fragile coastal environment.
Earp holds memberships in the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Executive Research Forum, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Peace Officers Association of Georgia and American Society for Industrial Security. In addition, he serves as chairman of Atlanta Metropol Inc. He served on numerous boards and was a member of the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. He is a Distinguished Life Member of the Florida Peace Officers’ Association.
Today he serves as a criminal justice consultant and is a real estate manger and developer in Tallahassee. He also is a community guest columnist for the Madison County Carrier newspaper. Curt is married to Associate Dean of the School of Nursing at Florida A&M University, Dr. Jaibun Earp and proud father of four girls, April, Melanie, Jessica, and Sydney.
Dr. James Murdaugh
Dr. Jim Murdaugh was named the sixth president of Tallahassee Community College in October 2010. Jim joined the TCC family in 1999 as director of the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement academy. In 2003, he was promoted to assistant vice president and charged with leadership of the TCC Florida Public Safety Institute – home to a number of public safety education programs. While at TCC, Jim has worked to strengthen student access and success, increase external funding for institutional priorities and build community coalitions while serving as the College’s point person for several grants, programs and services.
Before coming to TCC, Jim spent over 20 years working in criminal justice where he served in progressively responsible leadership positions. During the mid-80’s, he Jim worked in the Florida Attorney General’s Office, where he served as Bureau Chief of the statewide Help Stop Crime! Program. Afterwards, Jim spent 12 years at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. During that time, he served in a number of increasingly responsible leadership roles culminating as a member of the agency’s Executive Council as Administrator of the Office of Human Resources. Jim’s distinguished career in law enforcement also includes stints with the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Bureau of Criminal Justice Planning and Assistance.
Jim also served a total of 30 years in the United States Air Force Reserve (1974-2004), retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. His service included active duty for both Gulf Wars and, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, he was called to extended active duty, serving as Commander of the 96th Security Forces Squadron and Chief of Security Forces at Eglin Air Force Base.
Jim received three degrees from Florida State University; a bachelor’s of science and master’s of science in criminology and a Ph.D. in public administration.
Jeff Shaara, a descendant of Italian immigrants, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Criminology in 1974.
In 1993, the motion picture “Gettysburg” was released, which was based on his Pulitzer Prize winning father, Michael Shaara’s classic novel, The Killer Angels. After the critical and commercial success of the film, Jeff was approached about the possibility of continuing the story, finding someone to write a prequel and sequel to The Killer Angels. After some considerable soul-searching, Jeff decided to try to tackle the project himself. The decision was difficult in many ways, but most challenging because Jeff had no previous experience as a writer. In 1996, Ballantine Books published Jeff’s first novel, Gods and Generals, the prequel to his father’s great work. Gods and Generals leapt onto the New York Times Bestseller List, and remained there for fifteen weeks. Critics nationwide praised the book and Jeff’s writing ability, and the book was awarded the American Library Association’s Prestigious “Boyd Award” for Excellence in Military Fiction. In February, 2003, the major motion picture “Gods and Generals” was released by Warner Brothers.
To The Last Man, released in 2004, was not only Jeff’s sixth bestseller and first World War I novel, but also received extraordinary praise from notable figures such as General Tommy Franks, Steve Forbes, and General Wesley Clark. In addition, To The Last Man was awarded the “Boyd Award,” making Jeff the only author to have received two such awards.
Jeff Shaara’s Civil War Battlefields, his only non-fiction work, is a unique and personal tour across ten of this country’s most valuable pieces of hallowed ground. All royalties from this book are being donated directly to battlefield preservation.
Jeff currently lives in Tallahassee and is working on a Civil War trilogy centered on the Western Theater of the war, which will include the Battle of Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Sherman’s March. In all, Jeff has ten New York Times Bestsellers.
Chief Valdez “Val” B. Demings
Val Demings was born and raised in Jacksonville and was the first person in her family to attend college. She received her Bachelor’s in Criminology from FSU in 1979, her Master’s in Public Administration from Webster University, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. After working as a Social Worker in Foster Care, Chief Demings moved to Orlando in 1983 to attend the Police Academy, where she was elected Class President and received the Board of Trustees Award for overall excellence. She was an exemplary officer and worked many assignments throughout her law enforcement career, including 12 years on the Crisis Negotiation Team, and terms as Commander of Special Operations, and Deputy Chief to the Patrol Services Bureau. Then in December 2007, Chief Demings was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Orlando.
Chief Demings is also highly involved in the community through her participation on the Saint Mark A.M.E. Church Trustee Board and Women’s Missionary Society (which has included mission trips to Peru and Haiti); Delta Sigma Theta Public Service Sorority; Central Florida Police Athletic League Board; YMCA Achievers Program; Valencia Community College Board; United Negro College Fund Board; Guardian Care Nursing and Rehabilitative Center; NAACP; Regional Commission on Homelessness; Heart of Florida United Way Board; and she is the founder of Operation Positive Direction, a youth mentoring program.
Chief Demings is married to Orange County Sheriff and 1980 graduate of the FSU College of Business, Jerry Demings. The Demings have three sons.
Sheriff John H. Rutherford
John Rutherford has been a resident of Jacksonville, FL since he was four years old. Leaving the city he loves only to earn his Bachelor’s in Criminology from Florida State University in 1974. Sheriff Rutherford is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and a 35-year veteran with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. During his career, he served as Duvall County’s first Director of Corrections, Director of the Region Five Criminal Justice Training Center, and directed a study on revolver efficacy that was responsible for many agencies transitioning their officers to the Glock semi-automatic pistol.
John H. Rutherford was elected Sheriff in 2003 after receiving a sweeping mandate from Duval County voters and was re-elected in 2007. As Sheriff, Rutherford quickly developed a ten-point plan to assure excellence in the department. He maintains the philosophy that Jacksonville deserves the right officers with the right training and the right equipment, properly deployed and skillfully managed. They must be men and women of character and sound judgment.
Sheriff Rutherford married his high school sweetheart, Patricia. They have two children, and six grandchildren.