Escambia County Sheriff's Office (Florida)

The Escambia County Sheriff's Office (ECSO) or Escambia Sheriff's Office (ESO) is the primary law enforcement agency of unincorporated Escambia County and the town of Century.[1] ECSO is headed by a sheriff, who serves a four-year term and is elected in a partisan election.[2] The current sheriff is Chip Simmons.

Escambia County Sheriff's Office
Patch of the Escambia County Sheriff
Patch of the Escambia County Sheriff
Seal of Escambia County, Florida
Seal of Escambia County, Florida
MottoTo Serve and Protect
Agency overview
Annual budgetUS$$60.30 million
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionEscambia, Florida, USA
Escambia County Florida Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Pensacola Highlighted 1255925.svg
Map of Escambia County Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction
Size875 square miles (2,270 km2)
Legal jurisdictionEscambia County, Florida
Governing bodyCounty Commission
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters1700 West Leonard Street, Pensacola, Florida 32501
Deputy Sheriffs320
Agency executives
Parent agencyEscambia County Board of County Commissioners (Florida)
Police Boats5
Official Site

Department StructureEdit

The Escambia County Sheriff's Office is headed by a sheriff. Currently, the Sheriff is Chip W. Simmons who replaced former Sheriff David Morgan in 2021.

Chief DeputyEdit

The rank of chief deputy is the second-highest rank in the Office, reporting directly to the Sheriff. Each chief deputy serves as a member of the senior command staff and assists the sheriff in managing civilian and commissioned personnel.[3]


  • Central Booking Division: 1200 West Leonard Street, Pensacola
  • Pensacola Beach (1st Precinct) Substation: 43 Fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach
  • Big Lagoon (2nd Precinct) Substation: 12950 Gulf Beach Highway, Pensacola
  • South (Warrington) Pensacola (3rd Precinct) Substation: 20 North Navy Blvd., Pensacola
  • North Pensacola (4th Precinct) Substation: 97 W. Hood Drive. Pensacola
  • Cantonment/Molino (5th Precinct) Substation: 5844 North Hwy 29, Molino
  • Century (6th Precinct) Substation: 7500 North Century Blvd., Century

Rank structureEdit

Title Insignia
Chief Deputy
Deputy First Class

Before October 2013, the sheriff had control over the Escambia County Jail, located at 2935 North L Street, but after a U.S. Department of Justice investigation reported that the jail did not provide required minimum services and was chronically understaffed,[4] the jail was moved under the direct supervision of the County Commissioners.[5] In April 2014 a natural gas explosion rocked the jail, causing some to reconsider the wisdom of direct Commission administration.[6]


An Escambia County Sheriff Officer seen patrolling Pensacola Christian College's campus.

The office of sheriff was established with the transfer from Spain in 1821. The Spanish title Alguazil was initially used for the office. Henri Peire, a former privateer and colonel in the United States Army, was named the first sheriff by General Andrew Jackson.[7][8]

On 23 August 1877, the notorious outlaw John Wesley Hardin was arrested by Sheriff William H. Hutchinson working with Texas Rangers Lt. John B. Armstrong and Jack R. Duncan, accompanied by nine deputies.[9]

In the 21st century relations between the Escambia County Sheriff's Office and federal law enforcement were occasionally strained. In 2005 under Sheriff McNesby, disagreements over the release of information in drug cases led to a monthlong stand-off between the sheriff's office and the U.S. Attorney's office, which was only settled by the intervention of three federal judges.[10][11][12] In September 2012, the Civil Rights Division completed its report on excessive use of force by the Escambia Sheriff's Office,[13] that together with the Department of Justice's 2013 report on the inadequate status of the Escambia jail further exacerbated relations.[5] In February 2015 Sheriff Morgan severed ties with both the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force headed by the FBI, and the U.S. Marshal's Regional Fugitive Task Force, pulling the deputies assigned to those duties. Again the issue was one of information dissemination.[14] In December 2015 agreement was reached with the U.S. Attorney's office in Tallahassee to rejoin both task forces.[15]

Controversy arose in 2013 when ECSO deputies shot a 60-year-old unarmed man in his driveway.[16][17]

The canines of the sheriff's office received national honors at the U.S. Police Canine Association National Police Dog Trials in October 2014, where they had the top team scores.[18][19]

Before leaving office in early 2021, Sheriff David Morgan used $75,000 in office funds to commission a life-sized metal statue of himself. He said his intent was use the figure of himself saluting as an addition to the office's memorial to fallen officers. The new Sheriff Chip Simmons declined to install the statue in front of the office's main entrance.[20]

List of sheriffsEdit

  • Henri Peire 1821
  • Charles Bradford 1821–1822
  • William Davison 1823–1826
  • Charles Mifflin 1827
  • Henry Wilson 1828
  • Adam Gordon 1829
  • James Pendleton 1829–1830
  • Florencio Commyns 1830–1837
  • Jesse Allen 1837–1840
  • Peter Woodbine 1840–1842
  • Ebenezer Dorr IV 1842–1846
  • Mortimar Bright 1846
  • Angus Nicholson 1846–1847
  • Antoine Collins 1847–1851
  • Francis de la Rua 1851–1852
  • Francis Maura 1852–1854
  • Joseph Crosby 1854–1857
  • William Jordan 1857–1859
  • Daniel Williams 1859–1865
  • James B. Roberts 1865–1868
  • George Wentworth 1868–1870
  • Henry Campbell 1870
  • E. R. Payne 1870
  • George Wells 1870–1874
  • J. N. Coombs 1874–1875
  • A. M. Green 1875–1877
  • W. H. Hutchison 1877–1885
  • Joseph Wilkins 1885–1893
  • George E. Smith 1893–1903
  • James C. Van Pelt 1903–1913
  • A. Cary Ellis 1913–1917
  • James C. Van Pelt 1917–1919
  • Hurdis S. Whitaker 1919–1921
  • A. Cary Ellis 1921–1923
  • Mose S. Penton 1923–1932
  • H. E. Gandy 1932–1941
  • Howard L. Mayes 1941–1945
  • R. L. Kendrick 1945–1957
  • Emmett Shelby 1957–1961
  • Bill Davis 1961–1970
  • Royal Untreiner 1970–1981
  • J. "Vince" Sealy 1981–1989
  • Charlie Johnson 1989–1993
  • Jim Lowman 1993–2001
  • Ron McNesby 2001–2009
  • David Morgan 2009–2021[21]
  • Chip Simmons 2021-Present[22]

Sixteen policemen from this agency have died in the line of duty.[23]


The sheriff's office produces a television show, every other Tuesday, entitled Your Escambia County Sheriff’s Report. It is broadcast on Blab TV (Cox Channel 1006).[24]

In 2015 the Escambia sheriff's office was twice featured on the reality program Cops.[25][26]

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ The City of Pensacola maintains its own police force.
  2. ^ "2016/2018 Announced Local Candidates" (PDF). Escambia County. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Chief Deputy".
  4. ^ Problems at the jail included de facto racial segregation and inadequate health-care access. Nickinson, Shannon (18 February 2015). "The man with the plan". Studer Community Institute. Archived from the original on 30 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Escambia Commission Taking Over The County Jail From The Sheriff". North Escambia (News). 21 June 2013. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013.
  6. ^ Barrows, Mollye (20 November 2014). "Jail explosion: No criminal charges, changes needed". Studer Community Institute. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015.
  7. ^ Appleyard, John (2007). The Peacekeepers: the Story of Escambia County, Florida's 43 Sheriffs. Pensacola, Florida: publisher not listed. OCLC 712733262.
  8. ^ Other records show a man named William Loftin, a resident of the Oyster Bay/St. Andrews area (modern day Panama City) as being appointed sheriff of "Florida's Western District," another designation for the territory west of the Suwannee River. (Appleyard 2007) However, it was William M. Loftin who, in 1823, became sheriff of Jackson County to the east of Escambia County, but also west of the Suwannee. Houpt, Ann Pratt (2003). Parker. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-7385-1529-8.
  9. ^ Nickinson, Shannon (24 October 2014). "John Wesley Hardin captured in Pensacola — again". Studer Community Institute. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015.
  10. ^ Associated Press (6 August 2005). "Prosecutor won't take sheriff's cases after row over info release". First Amendment Center. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014.
  11. ^ "US Attorney, Sheriff's Office Make Peace". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. 17 August 2005.
  12. ^ Outzen, Rick (22 January 2009). "The Rise And Fall Of The McNesby Empire". IN Weekly. 11 (3). p. cover story. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Investigation of the Escambia County Sheriffs Office: Technical Assistance Letter" (PDF). 9 September 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 September 2015.
  14. ^ Barrows, Mollye (13 February 2015). "Escambia Sheriff withdraws from federal task forces". Studer Community Institute. Archived from the original on 13 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Sheriff's Office Rejoins Partnerships With US Marshals, FBI". North Escambia (News). 17 December 2015. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015.
  16. ^ Lithwick, Dahlia (August 2013). "David Morgan Is Wrong, Terribly Wrong". Slate. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  17. ^ Leber, Rebecca (1 August 2013). "Florida Sheriff: Officers Who Shot Unarmed Black Man In His Driveway Followed 'Standard Protocols'". ThinkProgress. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Escambia's K9 units one of the best in NWFL". Wear-TV (ABC 3). Pensacola. 28 October 2014. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014.
  19. ^ "Escambia Sheriff's K-9 tops at national trials". Studer Community Institute. 28 October 2014. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015.
  20. ^ Warren-Hicks, Colon (18 August 2021). "'Narcissistic waste': Former Sheriff Morgan spent $75,000 of taxpayer money on statue of himself". Pensacola News-Journal. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  21. ^ In November 2016, Sheriff David Morgan was re-elected to the 2017-2020 four-year term with 73% of the votes. "Escambia County Election Results". North Escambia (News). 9 November 2016.
  22. ^ In November 2020, Chip Simmons was elected to the 2021-2024 four-year term with 63% of the votes. "Escambia County Election Results". WEAR (News). 9 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Escambia County". Officer Down Memorial Page. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Sheriff Morgan". Escambia County Sheriff's Office. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015.
  25. ^ Nickinson, Shannon (25 February 2015). "'Cops' gives Escambia Sheriff's Office its close up". Studer Community Institute. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015.
  26. ^ Nickinson, Shannon (22 April 2015). "Escambia Sheriff's Office back on "Cops"". Studer Community Institute. Archived from the original on 28 December 2015.

External linksEdit