Sheriff Dennis Lemma

Bio: Dennis M. Lemma serves as the Sheriff of Seminole County. He took office on January 3, 2017, as the 10th Sheriff in the county's history. As the County’s chief law enforcement officer, Sheriff Lemma leads a workforce of more than 1,400 employees and manages a $140 million budget. Sheriff Lemma began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in 1992 as a Correctional Officer and was selected as a Deputy Sheriff four years later. He served as a School Resource Deputy and a Crimes Against Children Investigator before receiving a promotion to Sergeant of the Special Operations Section in 2002. Four years later, he was promoted to Lieutenant in the Community Services Division where he managed the agency’s crime prevention efforts, served as the Public Information Officer, and coordinated programs to assist elderly and domestic violence victims. In 2008, Sheriff Lemma was promoted to Captain and tasked with management of the uniformed patrol division, property crime investigations, traffic safety and code enforcement. In 2011, he was appointed to Major of the Department of Neighborhood Policing. In this role, he oversaw the operation of five divisions including uniformed patrol, Special Operations, Juvenile Enforcement and Intervention, Public Affairs and Community Services. In 2014, he was appointed to Chief Deputy where he led operational and administrative functions for more than 1,200 members of the Sheriff’s Office. In January 2019, Attorney General Ashley Moody named Sheriff Dennis Lemma chair of her Transition Advisory Committee Working Group on Opioid Abuse. As chair, Sheriff Lemma will work closely with Attorney General-elect Moody and others to gather information related to the best practices to stop the influx of deadly opioids, treat addiction, raise awareness and reduce the death toll of this crisis claiming 17 lives a day in Florida. In July 2019, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the formation of a drug abuse prevention panel with Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma to serve as chair. The focus of the panel will be to discuss and determine best practices and innovative solutions to combat drug abuse throughout the state, specifically as it pertains to Florida’s youth. Sheriff Lemma received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College, a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma, and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He also attended the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Chief Executive Institute in Tallahassee, Florida. Sheriff Lemma and his wife, Diana, have two wonderful sons, Dylan and Dayne.