Spotlight on Local Heroes: Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister

Sep 27, 2023

Within the expanse of one of Florida’s most substantial counties, the need for individuals committed to doing what’s right is paramount. Sheriff Chad Chronister, with that steadfast commitment, has consistently delivered exceptional service to Hillsborough County for over three decades. His dedicated efforts have been particularly instrumental in combatting human trafficking within the region.

Sheriff Chronister’s dedication to safeguarding Florida’s children stands as a testament to his commitment and is the result of an impressive culmination of his relentless efforts and numerous accolades. In this piece, we celebrate Sheriff Chronister for his tireless work in keeping Hillsborough County safe.


Get to Know Hillsborough County

As one of the largest counties in Florida, Hillsborough County includes cities such as Tampa, Plant City, Brandon, Valrico, and more. The area is home to hundreds of activities, including theme parks, like Busch Gardens, two professional sports teams: the Lightning and Buccaneers, and a booming downtown area that has seen tremendous growth over the past decade.

Amidst the array of thrilling opportunities for economic development, new avenues for criminal activity emerge. However, Sheriff Chad Chronister has dedicated himself to ensuring the safety of every resident of Hillsborough County.


Get to Know Sheriff Chad Chronister

Sheriff Chronister began his illustrious career with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in 1992. He assumed the role of the county’s top law enforcement officer on September 30, 2017, following an appointment by then-Governor Rick Scott. Since then, he has earned the trust and support of county residents through two successful elections.

Above all, Sheriff Chronister has put the safety and security of Hillsborough County’s residents at the forefront of his mission as Hillsborough County Sheriff. As the city of Tampa and its surrounding areas have boomed over the last decade with an increase in residences and special events, Sheriff Chronister has stayed vigilant in his mission to both grow the community and protect its citizens.

Sheriff Chronister has created an office that values professionalism above all else and is dedicated to the ideas of training the community and partnering with organizations around Hillsborough County to fulfill many of the goals that Sheriff Chronister has set.



Sheriff Chad Chronister completed his education at St. Leo University, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Sheriff Chronister was also a member of the graduating class for the 260th Session of the FBI National Academy.



Sheriff Chronister has been honored with numerous awards for his commitment to upholding the law and keeping Florida safe. Each of these accolades serves as a testament to Sheriff Chronister’s character, and the work that he puts in every day ensuring peace and security for Hillsborough County residents.

  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay’s 2020 Hispanic Prestige Award
  • 2022 Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay Great Futures honoree
  • Boy Scouts of America’s 2022 Distinguished Citizen Award
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Memorial Commemoration Committee’s 2020 Robert W. Saunders Award for Distinguished Community Service in the furtherance of Human Rights.


Community Impact

Sheriff Chronister strongly believes in the Hillsborough community and has cultivated several programs to fix a multitude of issues. Below are some of Chronister’s finest efforts in solving big problems around the Hillsborough area:

  1. A focus on Child Safety and Human Trafficking: Sheriff Chronister has created a multitude of operations to combat child trafficking in the Hillsborough County community. Through his tireless work, Sheriff Chronister and his team have stayed vigilant in stopping everyday trafficking, not just looking out during big events. Last year, Sheriff Chronister put together an operation that saw 176 individuals arrested in conjunction with human trafficking, one of the largest operations in Florida history. Since Sheriff Chronister’s human trafficking prevention squad was created in June of 2021, the program has arrested hundreds of perpetrators and saved many victims.
  2. Helping Victims: Sheriff Chronister’s commitment extends beyond apprehending human traffickers; he is equally dedicated to offering a fresh start to survivors of trafficking. Collaborating with numerous organizations throughout Hillsborough County, Sheriff Chronister has facilitated access to essential resources for trafficking survivors, helping them regain a semblance of normalcy in their lives. Whether it involves securing housing, accessing mental health support, or providing opportunities for reintegration into the workforce, Sheriff Chronister’s efforts have made a meaningful impact on the road to recovery.
  3. A Commitment to School Safety: Sheriff Chronister believes in keeping Hillsborough County school children as safe as possible. Sheriff Chronister has gone to every public school across the Hillsborough County area to give training to deputies, crossing guards, and even parents and students about what to do in certain situations. “We never stop training. We never stop preparing. Our school resource deputies have been training all summer long… Making sure they’re doing everything they can to make our children safe.”


Future Goals

Sheriff Chronister’s enthusiasm for Hillsborough County has been evident over the past three decades, and his commitment will remain steadfast in every action he takes and program he initiates. Moving forward, Sheriff Chronister is poised to enhance key aspects of the community, thereby contributing to the ongoing improvement of Hillsborough County. His vision includes:

  1. Increased Public Awareness for Human Trafficking: Although Sheriff Chronister’s task force has made significant strides over the past few years with helping victims and catching human traffickers, his main goal is to increase public awareness to help everyday individuals. Sheriff Chronister emphasizes the importance of teaching parents how to monitor their child’s online activity, and for children to understand when something may potentially be child trafficking. In an ever-evolving technological landscape, Sheriff Chronister firmly advocates for the importance of vigilance as the most prudent course of action.
  2. An Increased Social Media Presence: With the aforementioned tech world that we live in, Sheriff Chronister seeks to be as forefront and transparent as possible across all social media platforms. This transparency can be seen with body cam footage released on YouTube, multiple posts on Instagram per day, and search requests for missing individuals placed on X (formally known as Twitter) for everyday individuals to help locate these missing people. Going forward, Sheriff Chronister seeks to make this online presence stronger, creating a transparent network between the sheriff’s department and Hillsborough County residents.
  3. Continued Service: Even after 31 years, Sheriff Chronister believes in serving his community every day to his fullest extent. From working with organizations around Hillsborough County to every single citizen in the area, Sheriff Chronister tirelessly brings his expansive service and commitment to making Hillsborough County one of the safest areas in Florida.


About Bridging Freedom

Based in Tampa, our team serves as an advocate for restoring stolen childhoods across the State of Florida. We strive to combat domestic minor sex trafficking through our restoration programs for rescued victims by providing therapeutic safe homes for victims. Aside from providing healing services to victims, Bridging Freedom also works to educate the local community about the horrors of human trafficking in Florida.
Through partnerships with law enforcement leaders in Florida, such as Sheriff Chad Chronister, Bridging Freedom helps provide victims with a secure place and necessary recovery resources. To allow us to continue our work, Bridging Freedom relies upon the generosity and collaboration of our donors. If you would like to donate, then please visit our donation webpage here.



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