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Candidate for Nassau County Sheriff

Bill Leeper

Republican

Age: 62

Candidate's family: Married to high school sweetheart Emma Lannon Leeper for 34 years; son, Jordan; daughter Chelsea

Occupation: Nassau County Sheriff, Retired captain with the Florida Highway Patrol; small business owner in downtown Fernandina Beach

Education: Fernandina Beach High School, class of 1971; Associate of Arts Degree, Florida Community College at Jacksonville; Bachelor of Arts Degree, Columbia College-Missouri; Florida Highway Patrol Academy; University of Louisville's Southern Police Institute; Northwestern University's senior management leadership program; law enforcement science and criminal justice certificate, National Chiefs Association; FBI National Academy Session 260

Political experience: Current Nassau County Sheriff; Former city commissioner and two-term mayor of Fernandina Beach

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?
Engaging the community and build relationships. We must have the community's support and earn the trust of our citizens each and every day. Reduction of violent crime in our community. We will do this in three ways: Prevention, Intervention, and enforcement. Dealing with the Mentally Ill. We receive almost 150,000 call for service throughout the year. Many of those calls deal with individuals who suffer from some sort of mental illness. Increasing our Critical Incident Training for deputies who respond to these incidences so they can defuse the situation and assist them to get the help they need. Keeping up with the growth of the county. Nassau County is growing and we need to make sure the Sheriff's Office keeps up with this growth by adding the personnel necessary to manage the increased calls for service and additional opportunities for
crime.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
Nassau County is my home. It's where I grew up and where I learned the core values that have guided me my entire life. I bring over 39 years of professional law enforcement experience to the table. This combined with serving as Sheriff for the past four years, having served as a City Commissioner and two-term Mayor of Fernandina Beach, being a small business owner for 32 years and my extensive education gives me the unique perspective and skills sets to help ensure the success of the men and women of the Nassau County Sheriff's Office. I already have an established working relationship with other law enforcement agencies throughout northeast Florida. By partnering with these other law enforcement agencies, the business
community and our citizens we have reduced the crime rate in Nassau County since I have been in office over 29 percent.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
That I am a fair and honest law enforcement professional who cares about the citizens of Nassau County. It is my hope that upon completion of my service in this office we will have the best trained and equipped law enforcement professionals in Northeast Florida. We will have reduced the impact that illegal drug use has on our community and we will have created a strong relationship between the law enforcement community and the citizens of the county. I will continue to aid and assist the residents of Nassau County to ensure our community remains a safe place to live, work and raise a family and one that will be attractive to new companies, investment and growth that will create jobs.

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