Citrus County sheriff hits milestone, cites fight against drugs

By Kim Leoffler, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 10:16 AM EDT

Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast has hit the six-month mark in office.

From day one, Prendergast said he was focused on getting drugs out of the county.

  • Sheriff Mike Prendergast says he often rides with deputies
  • Department has executed 54 drug search warrants
  • Prendergast wants to connect with business leaders

"From the very beginning, the citizens across the county, they've asked me, 'Mike please do everything you can to get drugs out of our community,'" he said.

And he's made some progress. In the last six months, the department has executed 54 drug related search warrants that led to 89 arrests. In May, the department executed the largest heroin bust it has had in the county.

Sheriff Prendergast said he has a hands-on approach to leading the department and often rides with deputies.

“It’s immensely rewarding to go out and spend 4, 6, 8 hours sitting in a patrol vehicle along side our deputies," he said. "Going to the fire stations and doing a ride along with the battalion chief, to really ensure that we’re doing everything that we can to have a great quality of life for the folks that work so hard to protect our community and let them know I care," he explained.

Looking forward to the next several months, Prendergast says he wants to focus more on connecting with business leaders in the county.

"If we do our job well, our business leaders can thrive and they can hire more employees and they can reinvest in their businesses and take their businesses to the next level," Prendergast said.

The sheriff plans to start round table discussions with business leaders in just a few months. He is a retired army colonel and was one of Rick Scott's State Agency Chiefs.