Sheriff Restructures Organization
On Thursday, June 22, Sheriff Mike Prendergast introduced the new structure for the Sheriff’s Office, which took effect immediately.
"I have evaluated what’s best for the community we serve and how best to keep our officers safe," said Sheriff Prendergast. "For me, every decision I make must be made carefully and methodically to ensure we accomplish our mission."
The Sheriff’s Office will no longer have an undersheriff but instead will have three bureaus, the Bureau of Law Enforcement Operations, the Bureau of Support Operations and the Bureau of Public Safety. Two bureaus will be led by a Major, a traditional rank designation found among many sister agencies across the state. Newly promoted Major Danny Linhart will oversee the Bureau of Law Enforcement Operations and newly promoted Major Elena Vitt will oversee the Bureau of Support Operations. Chief Jim Goodworth will continue to oversee the Bureau of Public Safety until Fire Rescue returns to the county on Oct. 1.
Major Linhart joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1993, originally as a corrections officer. He then held the positions of deputy sheriff, investigator, patrol sergeant, crimes against children sergeant and major crimes sergeant before being promoted to Lieutenant of Major Crimes and Forensics in 2009. He was promoted to Captain of the West Patrol District in 2012 and then he became Captain of the Criminal Investigations Division in February. He filled this role until his promotion to Major by Sheriff Prendergast today.
Major Linhart has a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia Southern University in Criminal Justice Administration. He is also a graduate of the highly acclaimed Southern Police Institute.
"Major Linhart brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new role," said Sheriff Prendergast. "He is well known in the community and highly respected by his peers. He is very deserving of this position and will give it his all."
Major Vitt began her career with the Sheriff’s Office in 1987 in the Emergency Operations Center. She began as a communications officer but throughout the years served in emergency management, judicial services, training, patrol and human resources. She also oversees the Sheriff’s Office Posse. She has been the Division Commander of Human Resources since 2014 until her promotion today to Major.
Major Vitt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Florida Gulf Coast University as well as a Certified Public Manager certificate from Florida State University.
"Major Vitt is a strong asset to this agency and she will bring a wealth of knowledge to her new position, said Sheriff Prendergast. "This community is very blessed to have such experienced leadership ready and willing to serve at the Sheriff’s Office."
All law enforcement functions will report to Major Linhart while all support functions will report to Major Vitt. The Public Safety Bureau will continue to function until fire services transitions to the county on Oct. 1. At that time, Emergency Management will fall under the Bureau of Support Services and Education and Professional Standards will transition to the Bureau of Law Enforcement.
"We have a great team in place and are honed in on our mission – keeping the citizens of Citrus County safe," Sheriff Prendergast concluded.
Carol McHugh Still Missing
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is asking for your help in looking for a missing endangered adult Carol McHugh. Ms. McHugh is a 72 year old white female, described as being 5'1 and 113lbs.with short brown hair. She was last seen wearing a tan shirt with brown stripes and a large collar and dark colored pants. Ms.McHugh was last seen at approximately 3:30 pm on Thursday June 8th near the Seven Lakes subdivision off Sandpiper Dr. in Inverness. She is on foot. Ms. McHugh suffers from memory issues and is not considered a danger to others. We are asking those who live in the Inverness Golf and Country Club area to check their properties including sheds, porches, pool areas and yards.
If you see her please call the Citrus County Sheriff's Office at 911 immediately.
Emergency - 911
Non-Emergency - 352-726-1121
Inverness Ops Center - 352-726-4488
Inverness Civil Office - 352-341-6525
Beverly Hills / Ridge Area - 352-746-3484
Crystal River / Gulf Region - 352-795-4241