Meet Sheriff Dennis M. Lemma
In 2017, Dennis Lemma was elected Seminole County’s 10th Sheriff and was re-elected for his second term in 2020. As the County’s chief law enforcement officer, Sheriff Lemma leads a work force of more than 1,400 employees and manages a $170 million budget. In 1992, Sheriff Lemma began his career as a correctional officer with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. He later became a deputy sheriff and, over the course of 31 years, has worked in virtually every position within the agency, serving as the Sheriff’s Office primary spokesperson and receiving promotions from the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major and chief deputy prior to becoming Sheriff.
In January 2019, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody named Sheriff Dennis Lemma chair of her Transition Advisory Committee Working Group on Opioid Abuse. As chair, Sheriff Lemma works closely with Attorney General Moody, and others, gathering information related to the best practices to stop the influx of deadly opioids, treat addiction, raise awareness and reduce the death toll of this crisis claiming 17 lives a day in Florida.
In July 2019, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the formation of a drug abuse prevention panel with Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma to serve as chair. The focus of the panel will be to discuss and determine best practices and innovative solutions to combat drug abuse throughout the state, specifically as it pertains to Florida’s youth.
Sheriff Lemma was selected in February 2020, for the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice to represent sheriffs on the Business and Community Development committee. In addition, in February 2020, Sheriff Lemma was appointed to represent Florida sheriffs as a member of the All Sheriffs’ Authority to address the mental health and substance abuse issues affecting communities across the nation, and its impacts on sheriff’s offices.
In February 2022, Sheriff Lemma was sworn in as the President of the Major County Sheriffs of America. The Major County Sheriffs of America is a professional law enforcement association of the largest elected sheriffs’ offices dedicated to preserving the highest integrity in law enforcement. In July 2023, Sheriff Lemma was appointed to serve as Secretary on the Board for the Florida Sheriffs Association.
In February 2021, Sheriff Lemma joined the Victoria’s Voice Foundation as a Board Member. The foundation’s mission is to bring awareness and prevention of substance abuse, especially amongst teenagers.
In March 2021, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office opened the Hope & Healing Center in partnership with AdventHealth. This unique health care and law enforcement collaboration will provide clinical support for substance abuse treatment.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran and graduate of the FBI Academy, Sheriff Lemma holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and master’s degree in administrative leadership. He and wife, Diana, have two sons, Dylan and Dayne.
Sheriff Lemma may be contacted via email at: Sheriff@seminolesheriff.org