The Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) has appointed Hodges University alumnus Beth Richards as its first female captain in agency history. Richards earned a master's degree in criminal justice administration from Hodges University in 2002. She earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Hodges in 2000.
A 23-year veteran of the agency, Captain Richards most recently served as commander of CCSO's Professional Standards Division, which oversees internal affairs, training and accreditation.
In her new position she will oversee the Naples Jail Center, the Immokalee Jail Center and the agency's Bailiff Bureau. She said her leadership style has always been to demand professionalism and accountability from those who fall under her command.
While CCSO has had civilian females in the upper rank of director and chief, Richards is the first female certified officer to do so. As the agency's first female captain, she looks forward to serving as an example of what female deputies can accomplish. "When I was coming up through the ranks I didn't have a certified female mentor I could look up to," she said. "I look forward to fulfilling that role for others."
She grew up in Immokalee and began her career with CCSO as a corrections deputy in 1987. She was promoted to corrections supervisor in 1990 and remained there until being reassigned in 1996 to serve as a sergeant in the Training Division. In 2000 she was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to the Policy Compliance Bureau. She remained in that position until 2007 when she was named commander of the Professional Responsibility and Training Division. Since 2009 she has been commander of the Professional Standards Division.