Charlotte County Sheriffs Office Celebrates 100 Years

From the desk of Sheriff Prummell

In 2021, Charlotte County celebrates 100 years since its inception.  We at the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office pay homage to our past and current leadership through our continued dedication to providing professionalism and exceptional service to our community. Within the past century, we have made tremendous progress in terms of technology and professional standards.  It is this spirit of innovation and dedication to service that has transformed your Sheriff’s Office into a model agency leading in the field of public safety.  With the support of our growing community, we continue to plan for the future in order to maintain the highest levels of service and safety to our citizens and visitors.

In order to appreciate how far we’ve come, it’s necessary to examine our history.  In May of 1921, Governor Hardee appointed J. H. Lipscomb as the first Sheriff of Charlotte County.  The County was twice as large as it is now and a news agency of the era reported there were 37 arrests in a month, 13 of those were for drunkenness, bootlegging moonshine and gambling.   Sheriff Lipscomb served until 1941 when he was succeeded by Sheriff Arthur F. “Fred” Quednau, who held office for 16 years with a force of only two deputies.

In 1977, Alan L. LeBeau won the election at the young age of 26, making him the youngest Sheriff to serve our community to this day. It was during this time that the agency began the modernization process by utilizing some of the first developed computers and installing the first 911 emergency system.  Sheriff LeBeau was responsible for many “firsts” during his tenure.  He implemented the Explorer program for area youth, started a GED program for inmates, began the first Neighborhood Watch program, and bought the Sheriff’s Office its first helicopter.

We have certainly come a long way since 1921 and have been through a lot.  If you were around for Hurricane Charley in 2004, you know our buildings have been through a lot, too. The hurricane literally blew through the Sheriff’s Office on August 13, 2004, ripping one-third of the roof from the Administration building.  Sheriff Cameron was among 13 employees who weathered the category four storm in an electrical closet. We continue to work out of this same building to this day.

Presently, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has more than 600 sworn and civilian staff members.  I have been honored to serve this community as a member of the Office since 1992, and as your Sheriff since 2012. We all recognize we are experiencing unprecedented growth in our County.  Everywhere you look, you will see the residential and commercial building projects abounding.  There are now large developments in areas all over the County that were vacant land when I assumed office.  My staff and I are actively engaged with our governmental and community partners in planning for the future. We continue to be attentive to the needs of the community and place the safety of our citizens and visitors at the forefront of our efforts.

In closing, as we pay homage to our past, I also want to recognize the efforts of the men and women of the Office who work tirelessly toward the goal of making Charlotte County the safest place to live and work in the state of Florida. I am proud of where we started and excited by our future. We are Charlotte County, each and every one of us.

Be strong, be safe, and never quit.