Meet The Sheriff
Chris Blair has been a sworn law enforcement officer with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and has served the citizens of Marion County for the past 35 years. Prior to his retirement in December of 2010, Chris Blair held the rank of Major/Bureau Chief of Detectives. He was responsible for overseeing the Special Investigations Bureau consisting of the Homicide, Robbery, Sex Crimes, Cargo Theft, Internet Crimes Against Children and the Sex Offender/Predator Units. In addition, he was also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Agency’s Multi-Agency Drug Enforcement Task Force, North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team.
In November of 2012, Chris was elected as Sheriff of Marion County and was sworn into office on January 8, 2013.
During Chris’ tenure with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, he worked and supervised in the Uniformed Patrol Division, Property Crimes and Street Crime Units, Warrants Division and was the North District Commander. He worked his way up through the ranks to his current position and has obtained an Associate of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the College of Central Florida and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. He is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute in Louisville, Kentucky. Because of his potential as a Community Leader, he was also selected in 1988 by Sheriff Don Moreland to attend the first Leadership of Ocala class and he received a Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Development.
Chris was instrumental in establishing many programs at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in an effort to deliver exemplary services to our community and the victims and families of violent crimes, by maintaining high arrest, clearance and closure rates. Some of these programs included, but are not limited to: the Sex Offender/Predator REGNET program for tracking the whereabouts of sex offenders and predators in the county; established the first DNA Screening Lab in partnership with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; developed and established the Cold Case Investigative Team (ICE AGENTS) to investigate unsolved homicides; developed the NIBIN program (National Integrated Ballistics Information Network) which includes the firing of all firearms in Evidence, and future collection of firearms to assist in linking them to unsolved violent crime cases. He also initiated the first Robbery/Fraud Intelligence meetings held with local bank and convenience store owners and employees, and developed the instant e-mail notification system to alert and protect the well-being of other banks and store employees and patrons by immediately disseminating robbery and suspect intelligence information including photos of the suspects.
Chris has been an instructor at the College of Central Florida for the past 13 years and has taught in both the Law Enforcement and Correctional Academies in both the classroom and as a Range Master in the Firearms Course. He has earned several Medals of Commendation and numerous awards and citations to include the Medal of Distinction. In 1985, he was honored as the State of Florida Officer of the Year by the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency, and has also been honored as the Marion County Officer of the Year by the Ocala Jaycees, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Noon Optimist Club and the Rape Crisis Spouse Abuse Center. Additionally in 2010, the 18th Chapter of the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency named him as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for Law Enforcement.
Chris was born in Baltimore, Maryland, where his father served proudly for the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps before becoming a Baltimore City Police Officer. When his father retired from the police department, his family moved to Ocala where he has resided for the past 43 years. He has been married for 23 years and he has two children: a son who is a high school teacher and football coach, and a daughter who is presently a full-time college student at the University of Florida. He has spent the better part of his life serving Marion County to make it a better and safer place to live and raise families.
Chris presently serves on the following Boards: United Way, Marion County Children’s Alliance, Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection, Marion County Homeless Council, and the Fifth Circuit Public Guardian Corporation.
Thank you for the honor of being your Sheriff.
May God bless us all!
Sheriff Chris Blair