Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw recently announced his decision to run for re-election. With more than 50 years of experience in law enforcement, Bradshaw is the longest-serving sheriff in Palm Beach County history, having already served five terms.
Bradshaw began his career in law enforcement as a member of the West Palm Beach Police Department, where he rose through the ranks before being appointed chief of police. Bradshaw is the 16th sheriff to serve as the county’s chief law enforcement officer since the agency’s inception in 1909.
“I’ve dedicated my life to serve and protect the citizens of Palm Beach County. As sheriff, I have ensured Palm Beach County has one of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies,” Bradshaw said. “We have taken down the gangs, busted up the pill mills, hunted down cyber predators and locked up human traffickers. From community policing to the front lines of homeland security, Palm Beach County is safer today than ever before. I am running for re-election to finish the job and keep your safety priority No. 1.”
As sheriff, Bradshaw said that he has prioritized going after violent criminals and gangs, has allocated additional funding for mental health support, and invested millions in new technology, including body cameras. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is the county’s largest provider of mental health services, he noted. In addition, the PBSO has invested more than $13 million in confiscated funds back into community programs that support children, seniors and underserved communities.
The PBSO comprises six departments, 4,300 employees and roughly 1,500 volunteers. As a leader, Bradshaw said that he has extensive knowledge and training in all aspects of law enforcement.
Bradshaw has held several positions, including chair of the Florida Sheriffs Emergency Task Force for Region 7, a member of the executive board of the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force and chair of the Regional Domestic Security Task Force for Region 7. He is also a member of the Palm Beach County Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Planning Council, Police Executive Research Forum, Florida Sheriffs Association and has been designated Who’s Who in Academic Excellence in America. Additionally, he served in the United States Marine Corps.
Bradshaw also holds a bachelor’s of science degree with honors in human resources management, a master’s degree in administration with honors specializing in emergency management, and he graduated from the Administrative Officers Course at the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.
Bradshaw said that his leadership style has been praised for its effectiveness, with his excellent interpersonal and communication skills being noted as key strengths. He added that his priority has always been to keep citizens safe, and he has consistently demonstrated this commitment throughout his career.
As he seeks re-election, Bradshaw said that he looks forward to continuing his service to the community and maintaining the high standards of the PBSO.
The filing deadline for the 2024 sheriff’s race is still more than a year away. According to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office, as of this week, Bradshaw is one of four candidates who have filed to run. Bradshaw and Alex Freeman have filed to run as Democrats. Freeman lost the 2020 primary election to Bradshaw. Former PBSO Chief Deputy Michael Gauger and Lauro Diaz have filed to run as Republicans. Diaz lost to Bradshaw in the 2020 general election.