Jerry Demings

Jerry L. Demings (born June 12, 1959) is a former law enforcement officer and politician currently serving as Mayor of Orange County, Florida, in office since 2018.[3] A Democrat, he previously served as Sheriff of Orange County, Florida, from 2009 to December 2018, and served as Chief of the Orlando Police Department and Director of Public Safety for Orange County, Florida. He was elected to become Mayor of Orange County in August 2018, becoming the first African-American to be elected to that office.[4]

Jerry Demings
Jerry Demings.jpg
5th Mayor of Orange County
Assumed office
December 4, 2018
Preceded byTeresa Jacobs
Sheriff of Orange County
In office
January 6, 2009 – December 4, 2018
Preceded byKevin Beary
Succeeded byJohn Mina
Chief of the Orlando Police Department
In office
Preceded byBill Kennedy[1]
Succeeded byMichael McCoy[2]
Personal details
Born (1959-06-12) June 12, 1959 (age 61)
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Val Butler (m. 1988)
Alma materFlorida State University
Everest College
ProfessionLaw Enforcement Officer

Early life and educationEdit

Demings was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, the youngest of five children.[5] His father was a taxi driver and his mother a homemaker.[6] One of his brothers died of heroin addiction.[7] He graduated from Jones High School in Orlando and later attended Florida State University and Everest College, earning a bachelor's degree in finance and master's degree in business administration.[8][7] He also has a certificate of completion from Harvard University's JFK School of Government, FBI National Academy and FBI National Executive Institute .[9][10]


Demings worked as an accountant before beginning a career in law enforcement.[10] Demings joined the Orlando Police Department in 1981 after certification from the J. C. Stone Memorial Police Academy.[11] He worked in the department as a detective before he became its first African-American chief in 1998,[12] serving until his retirement after 21 years with the department in 2002.[13] In 2002, he was named Director of Public Safety for Orange County, a position in which he served until 2008. In 2008, Demings ran as the Democratic candidate for Sheriff of Orange County, Florida, the chief law enforcement officer of the county. He defeated his Republican challenger John B. Tegg III,[14] and became the first African-American to serve in the post.[13][15] Demings was re-elected in 2012,[5] and again in 2016.[16] In July 2016, Demings was elected as president of the Florida Sheriffs' Association.[17]

In an unusual -- perhaps unique -- situation, when Demings was elected county Sheriff in 2008, his wife, Val Demings, held his former job as Chief of the Orlando Police Department.[7][18] Demings' Republican opponent in the Sheriff's race, John Tegg, alleged that his election would create a conflict of interest situation.[17][7]

Personal lifeEdit

Demings is married to U.S. Representative Val Demings, whom he met during his early years with the Orlando Police Department. He was a detective and she was a first-year police officer when they both worked a juvenile go-kart-accident case.[6][19] They married in 1988 and have three children along with five grandchildren.[6][20] His wife served as a captain in the police department while he was chief, and later went on to become the first female police chief of the Orlando Police Department, serving from 2007 to 2011. She was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2016.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Peters, Xander (December 4, 2018). "Jerry Demings officially becomes Orange County's first African American mayor". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Peters, Xander (August 28, 2018). "Sheriff Jerry Demings wins Orange County mayoral race". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Orange sheriff candidate primary: Orange Sheriff Jerry Demings will face ex-NYPD cop Yanti". Orlando Sentinel.
  6. ^ a b c d "Jerry and Val Demings". Orlando Sentinel.
  7. ^ a b c d Schneider, Mike (January 25, 2009). "The Nation". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 422282631.
  8. ^ "Orange County Sheriff Bio".
  9. ^ "Orange County Sheriff - Jerry L. Demings". Orlando Sentinel.
  10. ^ a b Heflin, Devin. "Jerry Demings, The People's Sheriff". The Orlando Times. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "ELECTION 2008: About Candidate Jerry Demings, Running for Orange County Sheriff". August 23, 2008.
  12. ^ Tracy, Dan (December 27, 1998). "How the Past Will Shape the Future". Orlando Sentinel. ProQuest 279271544.
  13. ^ a b "Married cops to head next-door agencies". January 25, 2009.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "First Black Student at FSU Honored". WCTV. October 30, 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  16. ^ "Orange County Sheriff's race: Incumbent Demings defeats Hopkins". Orlando Sentinel.
  17. ^ a b "Demings elected first black president of sheriffs group". Orlando Sentinel.
  18. ^ Prieto, Bianca (January 15, 2009). "Chief, sheriff share crime-fighting plans". Orlando Sentinel. ProQuest 284236601.
  19. ^ Lesner, Jim (December 17, 2017). "Val Demings takes over as Orlando's police chief Monday". McClatchy - Tribune Business News. ProQuest 463291974.
  20. ^ "Val Demings takes over as Orlando's police chief Monday". Orlando Sentinel. December 16, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2012.

External linksEdit

Civic offices
Preceded by
Kevin Beary
Sheriff of Orange County, Florida
Succeeded by
John Mina
Political offices
Preceded by
Teresa Jacobs
Mayor of Orange County, Florida