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After being elected to three terms, former Sheriff Bob White retired in April 2011. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Chris Nocco, then age 35 and a major in the agency with ties to Tallahassee, to serve the rest of White's term. Nocco, a Republican, is vying for the position against Democrat Kim Bogart, a former captain with the Sheriff's Office with decades of experience. Erin Sullivan, Times staff writer

Kim Bogart, 60

Former sheriff's captain

Chris Nocco, 36

Pasco County sheriff

Kim Bogart's career in law enforcement began in 1975 when he was sworn in as a patrol officer at the Tampa Police Department. He was hired in 1985 as a captain in the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and in 2000 was one of many command staff members fired when then-Sheriff Bob White took office and installed his own leadership. He became a reserve deputy with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office and spent the next 13 years as executive director of the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, which reviews Florida jails. In 2009 he served as the interim chief of the Osceola County jail. He now does law enforcement consulting. Experience Chris Nocco, the son of a retired Philadelphia police captain, always envisioned a career in law enforcement. After graduating from college on a football scholarship, Nocco worked for agencies in Philadelphia; Fairfax, Va.; and Broward County before working as a field director for the Republican Party of Florida and then as a top aide to then-House Speaker Marco Rubio. Nocco served two years as chief of staff at the Florida Highway Patrol before he was hired in 2009 by then-Sheriff Bob White to be a captain in the agency. Nocco was promoted to major before White announced his retirement. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Nocco in April 2011 to serve White's remaining term.
Undergraduate and master's degrees in business administration, Saint Leo UniversityEducationUndergraduate degree in criminal justice, master's degree in public administration, University of Delaware
Bogart says he's running "because Pasco has been my home for 28 years and my commitment to our county runs deep." He is heavily involved in community service groups and his wife is a veterinarian. Their children were raised in the county, and their grandchildren are also being raised here. He says that as one of six siblings growing up in a single-parent home, he understands "the challenges of having to shoulder early responsibility." He is thankful to the adults who helped steer him on the right path, especially his uncle, a Tampa police officer who inspired him. "For me, law enforcement is not a profession; it's a calling," he says. "Our community should be a safe and desired destination for individuals to raise their families, run their businesses and see their hopes realized." Why are you running for sheriff and what do you want voters to know about you? Though opponents have made remarks about his political ties to Tallahassee, Nocco says his diversified resume helps the Sheriff's Office. "Along with my strong law enforcement background, my ability to work with lawmakers and promote our efforts has already been beneficial in securing funding to fight the prescription pill epidemic and increase our child protection investigator's unit," he says, referring to money granted for more detox beds and to help overworked deputies who investigate possible child abuse. He says he is invested in Pasco; it is where he and his wife are raising their three young children. "I will do everything possible to make Pasco a safe place for all of us to live, our children to go to school, and our seniors to enjoy their retirement," he says.
"While we still fight prescription pill abuse and the synthetic drug epidemic," Bogart says, "heroin is making a deadly comeback and is a threat to our county." He says the "nationwide crackdown" on oxycodone and other pain pills appears to be working, as the pills are more difficult for users to obtain. Now, he says, "addicts are turning to heroin, which sells for a fraction of the cost." He says "aggressive enforcement" against drug activities is a must as well as education to empower citizens. "To ensure future generations do not fall victim to drugs," he says, "we must place a high priority on drug abuse prevention programs in our schools and communities." What are the top crime issues facing Pasco County?"Illegal drugs, illegal use of prescription pills and now synthetic drugs are the nucleus of crime in our community," Nocco says. "It is connected with much of our violent crime and property crime." He credits victories in fighting the drug epidemic to using intelligence-led policing, which focuses on gathering and sharing data to predict crimes and target offenders. Nocco espouses a holistic approach, focusing on arrests as much as prevention, with educational seminars and Celebrate Recovery, a substance-abuse recovery program he installed at the jail. The program networks with churches so inmates have support after being released.
"Accreditation can be summed up in one word," Bogart says. "Accountability." He says the process confirms an agency adheres to policies and procedures, such as the use of force and vehicle pursuits. He says earning accreditation creates pride for a department, and research shows "accredited agencies pay out less in lawsuits." Former Sheriff Bob White cut the agency's accreditation positions for budget reasons. Is being accredited important?Nocco says seeking accreditation takes the time of several full-time personnel. "I believe these resources are currently needed in a proactive role on our streets fighting crime; that is where they are." He says his staff has updated operating procedures, such as hurricane preparedness, which "proved successful during Tropical Storm Debby."
Bogart says 228 deputies left the agency in the past four years; some retired, some were fired, but "125 voluntarily resigned." That, he says, "is a red flag that needs to be immediately addressed." He says this "mass exodus brings into question the screening and hiring process" and shows "an underlying atmosphere of frustration and anger within the agency." He says deputies "have dangerous jobs and deserve to be compensated fairly," but he also says most people don't go into law enforcement for the pay. He says recruitment is key, "seeking candidates who have a spirit of service, not just a spirit of adventure." And he says it is vital to have a "mentoring program" to "promote personal and professional growth." With difficult economic times, where the staff hasn't received raises in five years, what can you do to keep up morale and retain talent?Nocco says he has tried to retain talent and improve morale by listening to deputies and treating them with respect. "You can't lead an agency by sitting in an office," he says. "You have to lead in the field. By listening to our members we are cutting bureaucracy and creating efficiencies." Nocco, who won endorsements from local law enforcement unions, says he will continue to work with the County Commission to seek increases in deputies' wages.
Home, timeshare in Hawaii, savings, investmentsAssetsHome, savings, college fund, investments
Mortgage, credit cardLiabilitiesMortgage, car loans
Salary from law enforcement consultingIncomeSheriff's Office salary
Lives in New Port Richey with his wife, Patricia Weston-Bogart, veterinarian and owner of Animal's Best Choice Veterinarian Hospital; two daughters; three granddaughters PersonalHe lives in Odessa with his wife, Bridget Gregory Nocco, a Tallahassee lobbyist; three young children

About the job: The sheriff oversees the county's largest law enforcement agency, with a staff of about 1,300, a budget of more than $83 million and a jail with a population hovering near 1,500 inmates. The sheriff serves a four-year term and is paid $147,364 a year.

Pasco County sheriff: Kim Bogart (D), Chris Nocco (R)

After being elected to three terms, former Sheriff Bob White retired in April 2011. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Chris Nocco, then age 35 and a major in the agency with ties to Tallahassee, to serve the rest of White's term. Nocco, a Republican, is vying for the position against Democrat Kim Bogart, a former captain with the Sheriff's Office with decades of experience.

Pasco County sheriff: Kim Bogart (D), Chris Nocco (R) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 11:13am]
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