Why James Terry for Hernando County Sheriff in 2020?

My entire life experience has filled me with a depth of character and experience, which no other candidate can offer. Some gained through hard work, others through hardships. When I was nineteen my wife and high school sweetheart, was brutally attacked in Hernando County. There is little doubt in my mind that only Gods intervention saved her from being murdered. The event brought long lasting devastation to my entire family long after the physical wounds healed. The offender was convicted of attempted kidnapping and battery. This event and the long road to recovery created in me an unprecedented desire to serve and protect. It also filled me with an understanding and empathy of what victims go through, that can only come from such an experience.  My path was laid before me to fight this kind of evil.

For more than 22 years I served to protect Hernando County Citizens, I started with the Brooksville Police Department serving from 1994-1997. The best thing about BPD, was that it was a small agency and you had to learn quickly how to do everything. In 1997 I started with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office where I would serve the next 20 years. While at the Sheriff’s Office I had tremendous opportunities to learn and grow by working in almost all areas of operations.  Law enforcement is a very complex field with many different specialty areas.  I served as a patrol officer, patrol deputy, field training officer, undercover detective, patrol sergeant, administrative sergeant, criminal investigations sergeant, vice and narcotics sergeant, District 3 Lieutenant (Eastside of Hernando County) Major Crimes Lieutenant (crimes against persons, and economic crimes) District 2 Lieutenant (Spring Hill) Criminal Investigations Captain, and Major of Operations. Each assignment presented different challenges and growth opportunities. In 20 years serving at the HCSO, 15 years was in leadership positions. I particularly enjoyed mentoring and coaching others. In leadership you truly have the best opportunity to help your community by developing other leaders. An agency can only be successful if it invests in the people that are putting in the work every day. They must know that they are valued, cared for, and supported. Cops perhaps more than any other must know that their leader has truly faced the same challenges as they face every day. After retiring from the HCSO I was offered the opportunity to continue serving Hernando County Citizens by managing Hernando County Animal Services, where I continue to serve.

In addition to having extensive experience, I pursued advanced education achieving an Associate Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University. I also graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) National Academy in 2014. Awards: Medal of Valor recipient, Ribbon of Commendation recipient x2, Resolution for life saving by Spring Hill Fire Commission, Certificate of Commendation from the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

There will be no other candidate that has the combination of personal and professional experience that I have. I have developed tremendous relationships with federal agencies, City of Brooksville team members and leaders, state agencies, Hernando County Schools safety personnel, Emergency Management personnel, Hernando County Law Enforcement Officers, Hernando County Commissioners, team members and leaders in Hernando County Government, and Hernando County Citizens. I am uniquely aware of the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of each.

There is currently too much separation in the county among these important groups. I will use my unique understanding, and existing relationships to build lasting partnerships with all the stakeholders that make Hernando County great. Having experience at every level in the Sheriff’s Office will help me provide for and empower the great men and women who serve there. I humbly ask for your support to become your next Hernando County Sheriff.


James’ father Richard K. Terry was a reserve firefighter for the Brooksville Fire Department. Richard loved nothing more that being a fireman. In 2001 he died in the line of duty, while working on a call with his brothers from the Brooksville Fire Department. At the time of Richards death James was a detective at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The subsequent line of duty funeral service would bring together fire service and law enforcement like never before in Hernando County.

Although James chose to make a career in law enforcement rather than fire service, fate would have it that they would share a bond with fire. In 1999 James Terry was working patrol when he received a call of a house fire. There was a man trapped inside while the home was engulfed in flames and smoke. James and a fellow deputy forced entry into the burning home and were able to save the man from certain death. Immediately after pulling the man out of the bedroom, the victims oxygen tank which was left in the room exploded.

James subsequently received a Resolution for life saving from the Spring Hill Fire Commission, and a Medal of Valor from Sheriff Tom Mylander. Richard was extremely proud of James. James feels deeply that the bond between Fire personnel and law enforcement in Hernando County will never be better than when he is Sheriff of Hernando County.

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