Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight today received the 2013 County Partner Award from the Florida Association of Counties (FAC). The County Partner Award is presented to a local leader who demonstrates support and understanding of county issues during the legislative session and advocates for home rule.
In making this selection, FAC commended Sheriff Knight for all his work regarding the pain management bills introduced in the House and Senate. It also noted his willingness to travel to Tallahassee this year to provide support for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, educate policy makers about the law enforcement perspective and ensure existing county pain clinic ordinances were not preempted by proposed legislation.
“Sheriff Knight was a great county partner in helping to increase public safety as counties try to stop prescription drug abuse,” said FAC Executive Director Chris Holley. “Prescription drug abuse is a life and death issue and Sheriff Knight stood up to protect local authority and help our communities save lives.”
Because the Sarasota County ordinances passed by the Board of County Commissioners in 2011 were used as a model by other Florida counties, Sheriff Knight wanted the commissioners to share in the award, so he asked that it be presented during the county commission meeting in Venice.
For more than 80 years, FAC has represented the diverse interests of Florida’s counties, emphasizing the importance of protecting home rule – the concept that communities and their local leaders should make the decisions that impact their community. The Florida Association of Counties helps counties effectively serve and represent Floridians by strengthening and preserving county home rule through advocacy, education and collaboration.