Meet Sheriff Rick Staly
Sheriff Staly was elected Sheriff on November 8, 2016 and was sworn-in as Flagler County’s 18th Sheriff on January 3, 2017. He was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2020, receiving the most votes for an incumbent in more than 4-decades. As Sheriff, he leads a work force of more than 400 employees and volunteers with a total budget of over $50 million dollars.
Sheriff Staly began his law enforcement career in 1975 as a police officer in Oviedo, and later in Altamonte Springs. He served for 23 years at the Orange County (Orlando), Florida, Sheriff’s Office, being promoted through the ranks to undersheriff, or second-in-command, of the fourth largest sheriff’s office in Florida and the thirteenth largest sheriff’s office in the nation where he commanded a force of 2,000 employees and a budget of $120 million dollars.
After retiring from Orange County in 2001 he remained a sworn reserve Deputy Sheriff with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office while working in the private security industry as a Senior Vice President with an international company responsible for all security operations world-wide. In 2008, he and his wife started their own security company based in Palm Coast, Florida. After growing the company to 128 employees with annual revenue of $3.5 million dollars, they sold the company to a national security firm in 2012. Sheriff Staly later joined the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office where he served as the Undersheriff from 2013 through 2014.
Sheriff Staly holds a Master’s degree in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Rollins College. Sheriff Staly is a graduate of the 177th Session of the FBI National Academy, the Southern Police Institute’s 79th Administrative Officer’s Course and is trained in Homeland Security. Sheriff Staly also graduated from the 112th Session of the National Sheriff’s Institute, 79th Session of the FBI LEEDS program and graduated from the 2nd Session of the National Sheriff’s Institute’s Jail Administration class.
During Sheriff Staly’s more than 45 years of public safety service, he has received numerous awards, commendations and medals, including the Medal of Valor, Purple Heart Medal and Florida Governor’s Medal of Heroism after being shot three times while saving the life of a fellow Deputy Sheriff. In 2019, Sheriff Staly received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Sheriffs Association and was selected as 1 of 5 finalists for Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the National Rifle Association (NRA). In 2018, Sheriff Staly was awarded the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Life Saving Medal after saving the life of a choking victim by using the Heimlich maneuver and the Palm Coast Elks honored him as their Citizen of the Year.
Sheriff Staly serves as a Past Chair and former Commissioner for the Commission on Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation and is the Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches and serves as Past President of the Florida Deputy Sheriff’s Association. With more than 20,000 members this is the largest Deputy Sherif’s Association in the country. Sheriff Staly is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, and is a member of the Volusia-Flagler Police Chiefs Association, the B.P.O.E. Elks of Palm Coast, Bunnell Lodge 200 F.&A.M., and the Flagler County Gun and Archery Club. Sheriff Staly was recently appointed to PIRSAC as the statewide law enforcement representative by the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Wilton Simpson.
Sheriff Staly is a life member of the National Rifle Association and has been awarded life memberships in the National Sheriff’s Association, International Association Chiefs of Police, Southern Police Institute Alumni Association, FBI National Academy Associates and the Florida Police Chiefs Association. In 2015, President Obama awarded Sheriff Staly the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2019 the Florida Sheriff’s Association awarded Sheriff Staly the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sheriff Staly and his wife, Debbie, are members of Flagler Beach United Methodist Church and live in western Flagler County. Sheriff Staly has two married daughters, Lauren and Diana, and three grandchildren, Aiden, Lexi and Adalynn.