Colonel Mike Brown is a 21-year law enforcement professional. Upon graduating from the University of Central Florida in 1992 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, he began his career as a Florida Probation & Parole Officer in Orlando. After obtaining his law enforcement certification he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff in Highlands County under Sheriff Howard Godwin where he served from 1993 until 2005.
During Mike’s tenure at the HCSO, he rose through the ranks and was a proven industry leader at the local and state level. As a Division Commander, he was responsible for many facets of the agency, including: patrol, investigations, juvenile, and crime prevention operations. He was responsible for the supervision of law enforcement and civilian personnel alike, fiscal management of a multi-million dollar annual budget, acquisition and administration of numerous government grant programs, and the development of safety and crime prevention programs that have been recognized as best practice models by State Officials. He was highly decorated by his administration to include being awarded Deputy Sheriff of the Year in 1998. Mike was the Sheriff’s Office public relations administrator, and was appointed to serve on numerous county and statewide boards representing the Sheriff’s interests. Upon Sheriff Godwin announcing his retirement in 2004, Mike entered the political arena in a bid to become the Highlands County Sheriff. After winning the Republican primary election and enduring a hard fought general election, his efforts came up short and his career ended at the agency.
Having previously obtained his Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Mike made a decision to remain in Highlands County and begin a career in the private sector. In 2004, he established his own real estate development and construction company, which is still in operation today. During his tenure in the private sector, Mike consulted on many projects as a land use & development specialist, and for two years oversaw the daily operations as the Vice President of a multi-million dollar residential upstart in Sebring.
In 2009, State Attorney Jerry Hill brought Mike back to his law enforcement roots by hiring him as an Investigator with the responsibility of conducting Special Investigations for the office. In 2012, he was promoted and assigned to the Child Abuse Division at the SAO. He served in this capacity until 2013, when he was again promoted to the position of Assistant Chief of Investigations. In this capacity, Mike was responsible for the Division’s daily operations, including: Trial Support, Media Support, Homicide, Child Abuse, Economic, and Highlands/Hardee County Investigators. As a “player/coach” Mike conducted investigations for some of the SAO’s most sensitive cases, as well as providing input and logistical support to Administration.
In 2017, Mike was hired back to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office as a Major by Sheriff Paul Blackman. Major Brown oversees all law enforcement operations for the organization.
In October 2017 Major Mike Brown was promoted to Undersheriff.
Administration consists of divisions and units that provide support services to all certified law enforcement and detention members and is responsible for all business and technological related functions of the organization.
The Sheriff's Office is a business that employs nearly 350 people and is responsible for each member's hiring, benefits, payroll, equipment needs, and systems management. Through various units within Administration, we are responsible for planning, organizing, and leading the formulation and administration of the annual budget and planning as well as research, acquisition and tracking of state, federal, and other revenue sources. We also maintain all data management systems and agency records, and perform all general service functions for acquisition of all agency owned equipment, supplies, technology, and property for law enforcement and detention.
Administration coordinates the development of long and short-term goals of the agency and maintains liaison with other criminal justice organizations to coordinate external data collection. Administration prepares reports and summaries detailing findings and recommendations for various projects based on systematic analysis and comparison of needs, cost, and benefit to the agency, manages the annual capital and infrastructure projects and is responsible for assuring that all agency business is conducted in compliance with legislative, regulatory, judicial mandates, regulations, and professional standards.