Meet the Sheriff


Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman took office in January 2017 after having served with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office for 23 years. He has served as a K-9 handler, detective, road patrol sergeant and lieutenant (watch commander). In the 10 years before his election, he served as captain the Uniform Patrol Division, the Court Related Services Division, the Law Enforcement Bureau and the Detention Bureau.

He has a bachelor’s degree in applied organizational management and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Warner University.  He is a graduate of the Florida State University Certified Public Manager Program and the Florida Sheriff’s Association Commanders Academy.

Since taking office, Sheriff Blackman has initiated several new programs in the agency, including opening a Seniors vs. Crime local office, a Community Oriented Policing unit that partners with community leaders in high-crime neighborhoods and a custom smartphone app to better communicate with the residents. The agency has also taken part in statewide initiatives, such as providing support to Alachua County to counter expected protests at the University of Florida and send more than 30 deputies to areas impacted by Hurricane Michael.

Sheriff Blackman serves in numerous community organizations including the Sebring Noon Rotary Club.  He also serves on the boards of the United Way and the Big Brothers and Big Sisters. 

Career with the Highlands County Sheriff's Office

2006–2016 Captain

  • Detention Bureau:  Operations Division
  • Law Enforcement Bureau
  • Court Related Services Division – Judicial Process, Training, Accreditation, Property & Evidence
  • Uniform Patrol Division – Patrol, K-9, School Resource, Marine Patrol, Aviation Unit, Ag Unit

2005 – 2006 – Lieutenant/Watch Commander Road Patrol
2003 – 2005 – Sergeant/Road Patrol
2001 – 2003 – Detective Property/Persons Crimes
1994 – 2001 – K-9 Handler & Ag Deputy/Marine Patrol
1993 – 1994 – Deputy Sheriff


Certified Public Manager

Masters Degree
Business Administration, Warner South College

Bachelors Degree
Applied Organizational Management; Warner Southern College

Associates Degree
 South Florida Community College

 Skills and Special Training

  • Over 1,000 hours of specialized police training
  • Florida Sheriff’s Association, Commanders Academy (Class President)
  • FBI Leadership Training
  • Management of Large organizations with dozens of employees
  • Management of multi-million dollar budgets
  • Leadership
  • Consensus building
Sheriff Blackman may be contaced a or by calling 863-402-7213.