Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office | www.hcso.tampa.fl.us |
Published in the November/December 2011 issue of print Search & Employ® |
In 1845, the first legislature of Florida enacted a law requiring every county in the state to elect a sheriff every two years. In Hillsborough County, the first sheriff was John Parker, a former military captain in the Seminole Indian Wars. Law enforcement was his chief duty, but his duties also included cleaning the courthouse, planting trees, and conducting an annual census of school-age children.
It’s been more than a century since a sheriff was tasked with cleaning a schoolhouse in Hillsborough County. The sheriff’s office has evolved from one man to more than 3,400 employees and is now among the ten largest sheriff’s offices in the country.
The sheriff’s office has an Enforcement Division, which provides services to approximately 2.5 million citizens in the unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County, as well as a Detention Division responsible for detention and court services for all persons arrested within the county.
Ray Pappion is a master sergeant with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa. He’s in his 25th year of service with the office. Before he joined the office, Pappion was in the Air Force. He retired in 2003 as a senior master sergeant with 23 years of service.
“As a veteran, I am very proud of the sheriff’s office and how we pursue military veterans for hiring, as well how we handle employees that serve in the National Guard and Reserves,” he said. “In my position with Special Operations, I spent a great deal of time deployed between 1991 and 2003. You wouldn’t believe stories I’ve heard from my soldiers regarding their treatment by their employer because they were being deployed. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has always made deploying military employees and their families a priority.”
A dedication to service is just one of the reasons veterans will find a home at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. “Military veterans have a sense of service to their country and to their community,” he said. “The business of law enforcement is to provide a service to the community. This is why military veterans fit so well for the sheriff’s office. In a front line role or a supporting role, military veterans see the bigger picture.”
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has a lot of opportunities because there has been tremendous growth. There are currently vacant positions in law enforcement and detentions. “Additionally, with such a large agency, there are also a number of great opportunities in supporting positions such as Child Investigative Services, Court Services, Communications, Community Service, Vehicle Maintenance, and many other areas,” he said.