Lt. Gary Venuti retires after leading the “prestigious, award-winning” School Resource Officer program

Today, Lieutenant Gary Venuti retires from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Venuti has been a School Resource Officer in the Okaloosa County School District since 1997 and is widely considered “an absolute member of the Okaloosa County School District FAMILY,” according to Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers.

Lt. Venuti has progressed through the Sheriff’s Department to lead the prestigious, award-winning team of over 57 SROs in the district, positively impacting thousands of students, teachers, staff and administrators.

In July of 2020, Lt. Venuti earned the Florida “Lifetime Achievement” Award as he has dedicated his life to the safety of Okaloosa students and the School Resource Officer Program.

(left) Lieutenant Gary Venuti pictured with Superintendent Marcus Chambers (center) and former Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley (right)

“Today, he begins a new chapter as he retires from the Sheriff’s Department,” said Superintendent Chambers. “I would like to thank Lt. Venuti for his dedicated service and congratulate him on a successful career with the Sheriff’s Office and the School District.”

“Lt. Venuti, you will be missed in the hallways of our schools, but we know your legacy will continue through the Officers you have trained and worked alongside,” Chambers continued. “You will never be forgotten as your impact has been immense!!”

At Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioner’s meeting, Clerk of Courts JD Peacock had a few words for his long-time friend.

“Gary is the leader of probably the best School Resource Officer program in the country, certainly in the state of Florida,” he said. “He has taken the School Resource Officer program here in Okaloosa County to heights that people try to emulate across the state and the country. He leaves an organization that is stellar, so thank you Gary for all that you have done.”

THANK YOU LT. VENUTI!

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