The Lehigh Acres' Sheriff's Office, known as Bravo Station, has a new commander and a new lieutenant.
He's Capt. Todd Garrison who began his law enforcement career in 1992 as a police officer in Kenneth City, Florida.
The new second in command is Lt. Paul Cummins who has been promoted and transferred from the Sheriff's Office Training Division.
Garrison says he likes Lehigh and the friendly people who live here in the community in which his department oversees.
"Lehigh is great and I have met some interesting people in the short couple of weeks I have been here," he said.
"I have only been here for a couple of weeks but I have to say that I am extremely impressed by the men and women of Bravo District. At the present time, I do not have any plans to make significant changes within the district. However, I am always looking for new or innovative ways to enhance our service and programs that we provide to the residents of Bravo District," Garrison said.
He said he believes in the community policing philosophy, (defined by the U.S. DOF Office of COPS) which promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder and fear of crime.
"I do plan on being active within the community and working hand in hand to help address and solve issues here," he said.
Garrison comes with an impressive background, having earned an associate's degree in criminal justice from Edison State College, a bachelor's degree in business management from Hodges University and he is a graduate of the Executive Academy of Government Leadership in Ethics from Florida Gulf Coast University. He is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy.
Garrison made one of his first appearances in Lehigh on Nov. 26 when he presented awards to officers who had helped save a life in Lehigh. The presentation was made at the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Garrison said he became a deputy with the Lee County Sheriff's Office in March of 1994 with his first assignment in the West District patrol.
It didn't take long before his interpersonal skills were put to use as a community policing deputy for the Harlem Heights community. It was at this time that he became a field training officer, helping new deputies in his district learn the ropes of their chosen profession emphasizing officer safety, effective, equal enforcement of the law, agency policy and procedures, and community relations and much more.
He was transferred up the ladder in 1996 to the Criminal Investigations Division, specifically as a detective in the Robbery Auto Theft Unit and later the Joint Auto Theft Task Force.
A promotion to sergeant came in the new millennium while still assigned to the task force.
During an agency reorganization in 2001, more responsibilities were added as became a supervisor, now overseeing the Major Crimes Division, robbery/homicide unit. And toward the end of 2003, it was back to the road, as a North District patrol and Selective Enforcement Team sergeant.
In 2005 under a new sheriff, he was recognized for his expertise in auto theft and that brought him back to the specialty unit and later, he was promoted to lieutenant in the Special Operations Division before once again taking on a patrol role as assistant commander in Echo (Central Zone) District from 2007-13.
Garrison said that in March of 2013, fresh out of the FBI Academy, the Civil Division, where foreclosures, domestic violence, injunctions and subpoena service were at record levels, he was asked to bolster their efforts and became their first assistant commander.
His latest advancement and achievement is the promotion to captain taking over command of the Bravo (East) District Patrol in Lehigh.
Garrison also retains command of the Hostage Negotiation Team of which he has been a member continuously since 1997.