Meet the Sheriff
Sheriff Mike Prendergast
Elected to office in November 2016, Sheriff Mike Prendergast became Citrus County’s 12th Sheriff. As evidenced by his tireless work ethic, Sheriff Prendergast is strongly committed to the citizens of Citrus County and to the CCSO employees who tirelessly serve to make Citrus County the safest community in Florida.
Before his swearing-in to the Office of Sheriff, Sheriff Prendergast served as the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veteran’s Affairs under former Governor Rick Scott and his Cabinet. Sheriff Prendergast also served his country for 31 years on active duty as a Military Police Officer, with multiple combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sheriff Prendergast retired from his dedicated military career on October 1, 2009.
Sheriff Prendergast earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with Special Honors and a dual major in Political Science and Sociology from Jacksonville State University. He also achieved a Master of Arts degree with a major in International Relations and a Certificate in African Studies from the University of Florida, a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Public Management from Troy University, and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the United States Army War College. Sheriff Prendergast believes in the importance of education amongst his leadership and pushes his executive staff to achieve higher education while he serves as a mentor to many law enforcement officers.
Known for his aggressive stance on illegal drugs and drug trafficking, Sheriff Prendergast has invested agency resources and garnered state, local, and federal partnerships to combat illicit narcotics. Those internal and external partnerships have resulted in multiple successful operations, which includes the agency’s largest drug seizure ever. Sheriff Prendergast continues to forge ahead with successful anti-drug campaigns aimed at eliminating drug dealers from Citrus County communities. In 2019, Operation Coin Toss netted numerous arrests of known drug dealers, and continuing efforts are underway to combat the plague of drugs in our communities.
After the horrific events of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglass High school shooting, Sheriff Prendergast was first in the state to have a sworn law enforcement officer on every public school campus. Sheriff Prendergast continues to make the safety of our students and school staff a number one priority by leading a nationally recognized School Resource Deputy program.
Expanding the agency’s partnerships in the community, Sheriff Prendergast introduced new programs such as the Sheriff’s Memory Impaired Locating Endeavor (SMILE), the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Annual Senior Summit, and multi-discipline Business Roundtables. By enhancing the Sheriff’s Office community outreach programs, our agency is exemplifying excellence in public safety while helping our business community improve on their bottom line.
Placing service above self, Sheriff Prendergast proudly serves on the Florida Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors, the Florida Deputy Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors, the Florida Cold Case Advisory Commission as Chairman, the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch Enterprises Board as Chairman, and the Training Committee for the Florida Sheriff’s Association. In March 2018, Sheriff Prendergast was honored to be appointed to the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information Systems Council by former Governor Rick Scott, where he serves as the Chairman. He is also a member of the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Harley Owners Group (HOG, the Knights of Columbus, and the National Rifle Association.
Sheriff Prendergast and his wife, Naomi, have two grown children and are blessed with five grandchildren. The Prendergast's son and son-in-law are both Operation Enduring Freedom combat veterans.