Replacing Recently Retired Predecessor, There's A New Bay County Sheriff In Town

Aug 4, 2016

Because former Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen (left) is retiring early, Major Tommy Ford (Right) will fill the role until January of next year, appointed in the interim by Governor Rick Scott. Then, Ford will officially have the title, since he was just elected without facing an opponent.
Credit Bay County Sheriff's office Facebook

There’s a new Bay County sheriff in town. After handing in his resignation last week, the former Sheriff Frank McKeithen decided to retire early.

On Monday, McKeithen stepped down from his longtime role. He’d been the Sheriff for 13 years—about a third of his law enforcement career. His focuses included cracking down on the area’s Spring Break partiers. The rowdy activity has even gained national attention.

“A lot of our problems was happening on the sand, where we might have had 5, or 6 or 7 officers, and there were 20 to 30 to 40 to 60,000 people out there,” said McKeithen, during a Bay County commission meeting in May. “We were very much outnumbered. It was very dangerous for the guys. It was dangerous for people down there.”

Bay County has since enacted new rules, that McKeithen had pushed and he says worked this year. Still, according to WJHG-TV, the ongoing problems with Spring Break factored into his decision to retire early.

In the meantime, Major Tommy Ford will fill the Sheriff role until January of next year, appointed in the interim by Governor Rick Scott. Then, Ford will officially have the title, since he was just elected without facing an opponent. 

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.