Sadie DarnellSheriff, Alachua County
Sheriff Darnell was sworn in as the first female Sheriff of Alachua County on November 14, 2006. She was re-elected to a second term in November 2008, a third term in 2012, and a fourth term in 2016.
Sheriff Darnell is a thirty year veteran of the Gainesville Police Department, having been promoted through the ranks to Police Captain. As Captain she held several commander positions; Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, and Management Analysis before retiring in 2005. She has worked on multiple investigative task forces, including the Serial Murder Task Force, two Church Arson Task Forces and a Serial Rape Task Force, which resulted in the first cross-state DNA match in the nation. Her most high profile service was as the Public Information Officer during the 1990 Gainesville Student Homicides.
Sheriff Darnell earned a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Florida, and an Associate of Arts Degree from Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville, Florida. She is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Program and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Sheriff Darnell has earned numerous awards throughout her over thirty year law enforcement career. Most notable achievements include the Trailblazer Award by PACE Center for Girls, Santa Fe College’s Woman of Distinction Award, the Alachua County Office of Victim Service Award, Florida Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2000, Susan B. Anthony Award in 2005, recipient of Department of Defense Military Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; Elected Official of the Year by National Association of Social Workers; Outstanding Career Pathways Partner by Santa Fe College; National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Recognition in 2013; Recognition by the Florida Public Safety Institute for “Women in Law Enforcement” 2016; and as 2016 Honoree at the Boy Scouts of America Values Dinner 2016.
Sheriff Darnell is currently the Past President of the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) and member on the Board of Directors; Executive Board Member of the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Chair of the FSA Cold Case Advisory Commission, and member of the National Sheriffs Association and the FBI Alumni Associates.
Sheriff Darnell is very involved in community service and actively supports numerous state and local programs and initiatives.