Chief Kiesel of Sheriff’s Office graduates from Florida Sheriffs Association Commanders Academy

Core curriculum of 2-week course focused on leadership, ethics, discipline, and other topics related to leadership in law enforcement

(From left) Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) Executive Director Steve Casey, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Chief Lisa Kiesel, Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman, and Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper mark Kiesel’s graduation from the FSA Commanders Academy. Contributed photo

On March 29, Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman joined Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) leaders in congratulating Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Chief Lisa Kiesel on her graduation from the FSA Commanders Academy, the Sheriff’s Office has announced.

“The Commanders Academy is recognized as the premier course of executive study” for mid- to upper-level criminal justice leaders, a news release explains. “The core curriculum of the two-week course is focused on leadership, ethics, discipline, and additional subject matter areas related to leadership in law enforcement,” the release continues.

FSA welcomed more than 50 presenters and panelists to instruct the deputies and other personnel representing 36 Florida sheriffs’ offices who graduated from the latest Commanders Academy, the release adds.

“Beyond the core curriculum, the attendees study emerging trends, issues, and recent high-profile events” that have an impact on sheriffs, the release notes. “Each topic is threaded with subjects unique to the culture of the Office of Sheriff. No other criminal justice program in the state provides this level of executive training,” the release points out.

“In recognizing the achievements of the 2024 Commanders Academy graduates, we applaud their dedication to excellence and their commitment to serving with integrity and valor,” said FSA President and Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper in the release. “Through highly specialized training and a determination to excel,” he added in the release, “these 36 commanders have honed their leadership skills, fortified their problem-solving abilities, and embraced the highest standards of ethical conduct. Armed with these formidable capabilities, they stand ready to lead with distinction.”

FSA Executive Director Steve Casey noted in the release, “The Commanders Academy stands as a beacon of excellence within Florida’s law enforcement community. Devoted to facilitating professional growth, it equips our commanders with the latest strategies and tactics necessary to navigate evolving public safety issues. By instilling the highest standards of conduct and accountability, the academy empowers graduates to excel in their roles as leaders and protectors. Their ability to apply wisdom from seasoned experts to real-world scenarios not only elevates Florida’s sheriffs’ offices,” Casey continued, “but sets a national benchmark for protection, leadership, and unity.”

In the release, Sheriff Hoffman pointed out, “Our agency values and prioritizes this caliber of leadership training as it benefits all facets of law enforcement.” He added, “These new commanders are trusted with complex challenges during their careers, and professional development remains critical to their success.”

Along with completing the training course, the members of Commanders Academy Class 14 raised more than $29,500 for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, the release says. “This generous donation will help support the mission of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches in preventing delinquency and developing lawful, resilient, and productive citizens.”