Chris Nocco is the Sheriff of Pasco County, a position he has held since former Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed him in 2011. He was elected to the position in 2012, re-elected without opposition in 2016 and re-elected, again without opposition, in 2020.
Prior to becoming Sheriff and working at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office as a Captain and Major, Nocco served with the Philadelphia Public School Police, the Fairfax County (VA) Police Department and the Broward County (FL) Sheriff’s Office. He was a first responder to the attacks of 9/11, the Washington, DC sniper incident, the anthrax attacks and numerous demonstrations and large-scale protests in the nation’s capitol.
For a few years, Nocco stepped away from law enforcement and served as the Staff Director to then-State Representative Marco Rubio in the Policy and Procedure Office. There, he was responsible for domestic security, criminal justice, emergency management, economic development and transportation issues. Later, Nocco became Deputy Chief of Staff to Rubio, who was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.
Nocco is active within the community and several organizations, which include the Pasco Sheriff’s Charities, Inc., Tampa Bay Thrives, the Florida Police Benevolent Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Gold Shield Foundation. Chris, his wife Bridget, and three children are also active at church and youth sports.
Nocco has also led the Pasco Sheriff’s Office as the agency has created numerous community partners to include the Homeless Coalition of Pasco County, the Pasco County NAACP, Sunrise Domestic Violence Shelter, Bridging Freedom, the US Institute Against Human Trafficking, Metropolitan Ministries, the Trilby Initiative and several other community initiatives in Pasco County.
In addition, Chris has been active in statewide organizations, including serving as the Chair of the Florida Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Criminal Justice Committee and he currently serves as the Chair of the Florida Sheriff’s Association Statewide Task Force. Nocco previously served as a member of the United States Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council.
He is the recipient of several honors to include a Honorary Doctorate from St. Leo University; Leadership Award from Baycare Behavioral Health; Legislator of the Year award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness and was recognized as a Patriotic Employer by the Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve.
During his tenure as Sheriff, Nocco has implemented several innovations at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office was the first agency in the Tampa Bay Area to adopt body worn cameras. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office also has one of the largest Behavioral Health Intervention Teams in the state of Florida, this team works directly with those who are homeless, suffer from mental health concerns and substance abuse to connect them to resources available in the community. Nocco also led the way to develop FIRST (Florida’s Forensic Institute for Research, Security and Tactics), a one of a kind training center to create synergy between academia, public safety and the private sector. FIRST is also engaged in creating jobs for the region and opportunities for students to further pursue their interest in the different fields of science and animal care. Nocco also championed hiring practices that lead to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office hiring numerous veterans and has also been recognized by a local media outlet as the most diverse law enforcement agency in the Tampa Bay Area.
During his tenure, Nocco has also focused the Pasco Sheriff’s Office on academic partnerships and research. These partnerships include the University of Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, the University of South Florida, St. Leo University and numerous other academic institutions. These partnerships also include Bethune-Cookman University with whom the Pasco Sheriff’s Office is partnering on innovative training to help law enforcement members better understand the community they serve.
Nocco earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware (on a football scholarship). He received an Undergraduate Certificate in Emergency Management from Florida State University, a Certificate in Business Excellence from Vanderbilt University, and a Certificate in Cyber Security from the University of South Florida.
Nocco is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Executive Leadership Program. He also has received Executive Certificates in Technology, Operations and Value Chain Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and Leading Digital Transformation in Health Care from the Harvard Medical School. He also has a Certificate in Designing Thinking from the Joint Special Operations University. Nocco also has earned a certificate in Health and Humanitarian Supply Chain Management from Georgia Tech.
Nocco is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Association Institute, the 101st session of the FBI National Executive Institute.