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School Safety Division

The Sumter County Sheriff's Office school safety division is charged with providing safety and security to all schools within Sumter County. Our mission is to protect our most precious resource, which are the children of Sumter County. The school safety division is headed by Lieutenant Reace Thompson. The school protection supervisor is Sgt. Lawrence Wynn

In 2018, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School safety act mandated that all schools in the state of Florida have a protection deputy assigned to them. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office has not only met that mandate but has exceeded it by not only providing school protection deputies to all of the thirteen schools that are within Sumter County but has assigned two additional deputies to the unit including a trained K-9 which is capable of detecting explosives. These deputies act as an added resource for enhanced school protection throughout the county, thus ensuring that there is a high level of security maintained in all Sumter County schools. By adding these resources, the Sumter County Sheriff's Office can provide our children with a safe and secure learning environment.

To contact your School Protection Deputy please call the school office during normal school hours.

Lieutenant Reace Thompson

LT Reace Thompson Lieutenant Thompson has over thirty years of Law Enforcement experience and is currently assigned to supervise the School Safety Division of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. He began his Law Enforcement career in 1986 serving first with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. He then relocated in 1987, and started his with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. During his career with the Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Thompson has held many positions to include that of Major, in charge of the Jail and Court Services Division, Road Patrol Deputy, Internal Affairs Inspector, Crime Scene Specialist, Property Crimes Detective and Major Crimes Detective. In 2016, Lieutenant Thompson retired from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office and was rehired in June 2018, to head up the School Protection Division. Lieutenant Thompson has served as a Florida Accreditation Commission Assessor and has attended the Saint Leo University Command Officers Academy. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice form Saint Leo University. .

Sergeant Lawrence J. Wynn

SGT Lawrence Wynn

Deputy Wynn has been employed at the Sumter County Sheriff's Office since June 1997. During that time he has served with the Road Patrol Division and SWAT team, and was the School Protection Deputy at South Sumter High School from November 2003 -2018.

His work has been recognized by having been awarded the MADD Top DUI Enforcement Award for Sumter County in 2002, the LifeStream Law Enforcement Officer Special Recognition Award in 2004, and the Sumter County Schools Non-Instruction Person of the Year Award for the 2006-2007 school year. In 2017 Wynn was promoted to Sergeant over the School Protection Deputies.

South Sumter High School - Deputy Josh Greenwood

DS Josh Greenwood Deputy Sheriff Joshua Greenwood has worked in law enforcement since 1998, starting at Lake Correctional Institution before moving to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and now currently with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office since 2001. Deputy Greenwood has served in the capacity of Road Patrol Deputy, Crime Scene Technician and Detective. Deputy Greenwood also has prior School Resource Officer experience as he served as such at South Sumter Middle School from 2004-2011. During this time he received recognition as School Related Employee of the Year and district finalist in 2005-2006.

Deputy Greenwood possesses his Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration with post graduate work in progress. Deputy Greenwood is a 1997 graduate of South Sumter High School where he currently is assigned.

Wildwood Middle High School - Deputy Michael Callaway

DS Michael Callaway Deputy Michael Callaway has been employed with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office since 2003. He has served with the Road patrol, Detective Bureau, Community Relations and Traffic Divisions before becoming the School Protection Deputy at Wildwood Middle High School in 2016, where he graduated in 1994. Deputy Callaway is certified by the Florida Attorney Generals Office as a Crime Prevention Practitioner. Deputy Callaway is the only Deputy to hold the Practitioner Designation at the Sumter County Sheriff's Office at this time.

The Villages Charter High School - Deputy Caleb Ross

DS Caleb Ross Deputy C. Ross began his Law Enforcement career in 2008 at the Sumter County Detention Center, where he worked in Corrections for 6 years. In 2014, Deputy C. Ross became dual-certified and transferred to Road Patrol, and served for 3 years as a Road Patrol Deputy and later Field Training Officer, before being selected as the School Protection Deputy for The Villages High School. Deputy C. Ross obtained his Law Enforcement and Corrections Certification from Withlacoochee Technical College, during which time he was awarded the Highest Academic Achievement Award.

South Sumter Middle School - Deputy Rob Hansen

DS Rob Hansen Deputy R. Hansen is the School Protection Deputy at South Sumter Middle School. He has been employed by the Sumter County Sheriff's Office since February of 2010. Deputy Hansen began his career as a correction officer with the Florida Department of Corrections (Sumter Correctional Institution) February of 2004. While he was employed with Sumter Correction Institution, Deputy Hansen was a prisoner work squad officer, a member of the honor guard, and assisted in the capture of an escaped prisoner. Deputy Hansen also obtained his CJSTC instructor certificate along with his firearm instructor certificate and assisted in teaching in-service training.

In February 2010, Deputy Hansen began his employment with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office as a detention deputy. During his tour at the detention center, Detention Hansen taught in-service to the detention center staff, worked as a weekend work detail officer, and became a member of the Sheriff's Office Honor Guard. January 2014, Deputy Hansen entered into a law enforcement crossover class, where he became a duel certified, serving the citizens of Sumter County. In 2017 Deputy Hansen became a School Protection Deputy at South Sumter Middle School. Deputy Hansen enjoys teaching and protecting the young citizens of Sumter County.

DS Becky Pursley Deputy Pursley moved to Sumter County in 1995, as a child, when her father’s career as a Federal Law Enforcement officer brought us to the area after multiple transfers across the country. Deputy Pursley graduated from South Sumter High School 2001. In April 2006, she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and began her career at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office as a 911 call taker in the Communications Division. In August 2006, she was promoted to the position of dispatcher and became a Certified Training Officer for telecommunications shortly after. She was later certified by the state of Florida as a 911 Public Safety Telecommunicator. She worked as a dispatcher and telecommunications trainer until she was promoted to a shift supervisor in (have to verify this date too-can’t remember). In 2013, she was awarded the ADT Life Saver award by ADT Alarm Company for my role as the law enforcement dispatcher, during a violent home invasion, ultimately ending in the capture and incarceration of the suspect. In 2015, she made the decision to attend the Basic Recruit Academy and cross over from a civilian employee, within the sheriff’s office, to a sworn law enforcement office. In January 2016 she was sworn in as a deputy sheriff, where she served in the Road Patrol division. While serving in the road patrol division, she assisted both the Criminal Investigations Unit and the Special Investigations Unit with multiple special operations. In January 2018, she transferred to the School Protection Division where she now works diligently to protect the students and staff of Lake Panasoffkee Elementary.

Sumter PREP Academy - Deputy Jeremy Williams

DS Jeremy Williams Deputy Williams joined the Sumter County Sheriff's Office in January 2008, he was born and raised in Ocala,Florida where he graduated from Lake Weir High School, The College of Central Florida, and went on to graduate from The University Of Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science. Deputy Williams has been a School Protection Deputy for over three years having spent time as the Protection Deputy at The Villages Charter High School and he is now proudly serving as the School Protection Deputy for Sumter Prep Academy.

Bushnell Elementary School - Deputy Christopher Lightcap

Deputy Lightcap joined the Sumter County Sheriff's Office in February 2010. During that time he has been a patrol deputy and a Crime Scene Specialist. He was also has been a Field Training Officer. Recently, Lightcap completed the necessary requirements to advance to Master Deputy Status and is currently attending Saint Petersburg College to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice. Lightcap strives to take on every position assigned with pride and dedication and will apply the same efforts while performing my duties as a School Protection Deputy at the Bushnell Elementary School. During the 2018-19 school-year, Deputy Lightcap was assigned to perform the duty as a School Protection Deputy at the Bushnell Elementary School. He is looking forward to be a resourceful Deputy within the agency and allowing him to be a positive role model for the children within Sumter County.

Webster Elementary School - Deputy Paul Ingram

DS Paul Ingram Deputy Ingram has been in law enforcement for approximately 17 years. He's attended and completed various specialized training courses throughout his career, and earned an Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University. Deputy Ingram started my career in law enforcement in 2001 with the Philadelphia Police Department. Since then, he's worked for the Miami Gardens, and Hollywood Florida Police Departments; and most recently joined the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in 2017.

During the past seventeen years, he has served in various capacities, but primarily as a road patrol officer. This is his first time serving as a School Protection Deputy (SRO). The safety of our schools, and children is of the utmost importance to me. I welcome the opportunity to become a mentor, an additional resource to children looking for guidance, and to help create and maintain a safe learning environment.

The Villages Primary School - Deputy Dennis Henry

DS Dennis Henry Deputy D. Henry is a lifelong resident of Florida and has 2 years of Law Enforcement. He began his career in 2015. Deputy D. Henry began his law enforcement career at Sanibel Police Department as a Police Aide. During this time he develop a passion in helping the community. By maintaining a good relationship of mutual respect and understanding for the community

Upon completing the Law Enforcement Academy. He Joined the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. He have been with the agency for approximately a year and a half. During his career at the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, Deputy D. Henry has putting his time in on the Patrol Deputy.

Shortly thereafter, He was presented with a opportunity to join the School Resource Officer unit (SRO). He felts with his life experiences as well as his time as a devoted father and lifelong dedication to children would greatly assist him in helping the current and future youth of our schools as a role model to our youth.

Wildwood Elementary School - Deputy James Fowler

DS James Fowler I began my career in law enforcement in 2009, where I have worked for both The Florida Department of Corrections at Lowell C.I. and Marion Sheriff's Office as a correctional officer. I have been with the Sumter County Sheriff's office for two and a half years. I became a School Resource Officer to help with the protection of the children to have a safe place to learn. I have four children of my own and love being active in their school work and extra curricular activities. I plan on using this help the children have a fun and safe place to learn

The Villages 4th & 5th Grade Center - Deputy Blair Rutz

DS Blair Rutz Deputy Rutz has been employed with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office since 2012. During that time he has served with the Road Patrol Division, as a Bailiff in the Sumter County Courthouse, and also in the capacity of a Civil Deputy in the Civil and Warrants Division. Deputy Rutz has currently joined The Villages Charter School as the School Protection Deputy for the 4th and 5th grade Center. Deputy Rutz has enjoyed his time as an SRO and hopes he is a Positive influence for his Communities youth.

The Villages Intermediate School - Deputy Jean Silva

DS Jean Silva Deputy Silva has been with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office for 1.5 years now. I'm a former graduate, class of 2013 from The Villages Charter High school. I decided to become a School Protection Deputy because it gives me the opportunity to give back to the community. I am currently enrolled in Lake Sumter State College pursing my general associates degree. I am excited and looking forward to working with the teaching staff and the students this school year. One important thing I strongly believe in is 'If you see something, say something'.

The Villages Middle School - Deputy Holly Eckstein

DS Holly Eckstein Deputy Eckstein grew up in Citrus County, Florida, with two younger sisters. She played volleyball and softball throughout school and was in the Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post training to become a deputy at a young age. Deputy Eckstein graduated from Lecanto High School, and then obtained her Associates Degree from the College of Central Florida. While going to community college she was a substitute teacher, coached little league girls softball, and worked as a camp counselor for the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches. Deputy Eckstein furthered her education at Florida Gulf Coast University where she obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in the education field. She went through the police academy at Withlacoochee Technical Institute and was hired by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in October of 2014. During her career with the Sheriff's Office, she has been assigned to the road patrol division and currently serve on the Sheriff's Honor Guard and most recently the School Safety Division.

School Protection Float Deputy - Deputy Andy Shepherd

DS Andy Shepherd Deputy Shepherd began his career in 2006 after completing his Law Enforcement Certificate at Withlacoochee Criminal Academy in Inverness, FL. He began his career at Center Hill, Florida as an Officer where he worked for one year. He was hired on with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office in June 2007. During his time with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office he has served as a Road Patrol Deputy, a Detective in the Special Investigations Squad and he is a semi-truck driver for the Mobile Command Center as well as a spotter for the Aviation Unit. In 2017-18 school year Deputy Shepherd was responsible for all Elementary Schools, now Deputy Shepherd serves as a 'float' deputy for all of Sumter County Schools.

School Protection K-9 Deputy - Deputy William Lamb & Rio

DS Bill Lamb Deputy W. Lamb is a K-9 handler with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office and has worked for them for 16 years. He has trained and worked 3 separate K-9's while employed at the agency; Red (bloodhound), Chloe (bloodhound) and most recently Rio. When he is not working he enjoys bike riding, spending time with his family and taking care of his K-9's working and retired. Deputy Lamb joined the School Safety Division beginning the 2018-19 school year as a specialized K-9 unit.

Rio is a 2 year old Vizsla/German Short Haired Pointer mix dog. He was ship over to the United States from Hungary by a local dog training business. Rio is trained for Explosive Detection. Rio and Deputy Lamb moved to an SPD spot starting the 2018/2019 school year. They will be going school to school working together to keep the Sumter County Schools safer by utilizing Rio and having extra patrols at the schools.

To learn more about the function of school resource officers you can visit the National Association of School Resource Officers Website.