Kim Bogart wants Pasco County to have a sheriff’s office that’s “connected to the community.”
“I want deputies, and the employees of the sheriff’s office, to be engaged with the community; not to be Us and Them,” he said. “I would love to see it to where when a citizen asks: ‘Who do you work for?’ the deputy’s response is ‘I work for you.’”
Bogart is running for Sheriff as a Democrat. He’s running against incumbent Sheriff Chris Nocco,a Republican. Nocco was appointed to the position of top cop by Gov. Rick Scott in April 2011 to finish out the term of predecessor Bob White.
Bogart, 60, is a longtime Pasco resident. He joined the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in 1985. He worked for the agency for 16 years, ascending to the ranks of captain and major. Bogart was one of the people on the agency's command staff who was swept out the door after White was first elected in 2000.
Bogart became a reserve deputy with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in 2001. He was interim chief of the Osceola County Jail. He also served 13 years as executive director of the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission.
When White ran for reelection in 2008, Bogart ran against him but lost by 4,000 votes.
A major focus of Bogart’s campaign has been a pledge to “focus on public safety, not politics.”
“One of the major priorities for me is going to be getting the politics out of the internal operations of the sheriff's office," he said.
Bogart said that there has been over the years an "exodus" of deputies who have left the sheriff's office, some of whom have resigned. Departures continue under Nocco's administration, he said.
Bogart says he’s “about accountability.”
He says he wants to implement Sheriff’s Advisory Councils. hese would be councils set up throughout the county. Each would be composed of members representing a geographic area and meet monthly. Bogart would want his field commanders responsible for that area to go these meetings.
“We don’t have all the answers,” Bogart said. “We have to collaborate. Who knows the neighborhood better than the people who live there?”
Bogart says he would look at expanding programs in the jail and outside the jail with service providers who can help former inmates integrate back into life outside of prison.
He has said he would review the Land O’ Lakes jail inmate farm work program to see if it’s worth keeping, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Another focus is getting the agency accredited again. White cut the accreditation in 2008.
When captain at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office during the Lee Cannon administration, Bogart “took on responsibility” for getting the agency accredited.
“I know the playbook,” he said.
Bogart lives in the New Port Richey area. His wife, Patricia Weston-Bogart, is a veterinarian whose office is right on Rowan Road. Bogart is on the boards of at least five community service organizations and is involved in more, he says.
Pasco has been Bogart's home for 28 years.
“I want to take what I have learned, my experience and put it to work in my own county and make it a truly safer county” he said.