JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office shared a “Thank You” video dedicated to Sheriff Mike Williams as they honor and celebrate his retirement after 31 years of service.
The video shows photos of Williams at various gatherings, events and press conferences.
According to the video, Williams oversaw the creation of the body worn camera program, gun crimes intelligence center, firearms lab, mental health co-responder program, and the Real Time Crime Center.
He also oversaw the hiring of almost 2,000 public safety hires.
"Your unwavering commitment to serving the Jacksonville community will live on through the many programs established during your time as Sheriff of Duval County," the video says.
Sheriff Williams announced his retirement after his decision to move out of Duval County sparked debate. Williams acknowledged in an interview with First Coast News that he moved to Nassau County last year.
The city charter, which essentially is Jacksonville's constitution, says the sheriff "shall reside in Duval County," and says if he moves out of the county, his seat becomes vacant.
Williams argued he was protected because in 2010, the Florida Legislature repealed a law requiring sheriffs to live in the county they serve. Charter experts said state law did not override the local charter's residency requirements.
At one point, Sheriff Williams said he may move back to Duval County, but that never materialized.
In a later statement from Sheriff Williams, he said he felt a court battle over his residency would "not be good for our community".
A legal expert said that the city charter overruled state law and does not allow for the sheriff to simply move back and reassume office.
"I don't think you could simply just change your mind, move back into the county and say, 'well, the past year didn't matter' because the city charter is very clear about the vacancy having occurred when he removed his residency from the city of Jacksonville," Attorney Neil Henderson said.