NEW PORT RICHEY - After serving nearly three decades in law enforcement, Chief Deputy Col. Brian Head, the second-in-command at the Pasco Sheriff's Office, has retired, the agency announced.
"I have 27 years of service," Head wrote in an email to The Tampa Tribune. "This is all I have done my entire adult life. Sometimes the numbers just make sense"
Head, 48, said he entered the Deferred Retirement Option Program, or DROP, in June 2012. That program allows government employees to extend their continued service for as many as five years.
In May 2011, Head, hired by the Pasco Sheriff's Office in February 2001, was promoted to chief deputy, the agency's second-in-command position. Head, whose rank elevated from major to colonel, was also put in charge of the Joint Operations Bureau. At the time of his appointment, Head's salary increased from $108,621 to $125,259.
His promotion came shortly after Nocco was appointed as sheriff by Gov. Rick Scott to replace former Sheriff Bob White. White retired in April 2011 with another year left in his four-year term.
"On behalf of the entire Pasco Sheriff's Office, I would like to thank Col. Brian Head for over a decade of outstanding service to our agency," Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a statement. "He has been a leader in the law enforcement community for 27 years. It is with great sadness that we will see him retire from his position as the agency's chief deputy. His commitment to the citizens of Pasco County and the members of this agency will be missed.
"Colonel Head is a dedicated public servant and we wish him all the best in his retirement. Please join me in congratulating Brian."
No replacement has been announced.
"At this point the sheriff hasn't made a decision on that," Doug Tobin, public information officer for the sheriff's office, said. "I know he plans on making a replacement in the near future. A position like that is crucial to the agency, No. 2 in command, so I couldn't imagine it would be very long before he makes a replacement."
Head, along with Nocco and lawyer Kerry O'Connor, was one of three finalists for the sheriff position appointment. Nine applied for the vacant sheriff's position in 2011. Each of the three finalists were interviewed by Scott before he selected Nocco to serve the remainder of White's term. Nocco won his election bid in November
"Right now, I want to take time to relax," Head said. "I am under no pressure to get another job. I am an avid hunter and fisher who just returned from a Canadian black bear hunt. My immediate plans are to devote this hunting season to myself and enjoy the woods from a tree stand. I will have no obligations or critical incidents to deal with. I am sure I will do something else in the future."
Prior to his promotion, Head was the commander of the Detention Bureau.
Before joining the sheriff's office, Head spent 14 years at the Florida Department of Corrections.