There are few folks in Osceola County who haven’t heard of Russ Gibson.
The reason for that is not as simple as it seems. Yes, he is the current Osceola County Sheriff and yes he is running for re-election.
It’s also true he is seen regularly volunteering in community events such as the Community Appreciation Day back in March and Community Farm Share (an organized effort to distribute food to local families in need) along with countless others. Too many to name really. Ever since the stay at home order was enacted in response to Coronavirus, these days most events are being held virtually but are still widely accessible to the community.
Community outreach has been on the forefront of Gibson’s mind since he first ran for Sheriff four years ago. In fact, when asked what his priorities would be if elected, Gibson stated in a 2016 Orlando Sentinel interview that outreach was one of his top priorities. He certainly has delivered on that promise. He also promised to implement the use of body cameras for all deputies which served a twofold purpose. First, it protects the officer from unfounded allegations of police brutality and second, it ensures fair and equal treatment of all citizens when in contact with law enforcement. This is especially important now with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Most importantly it’s his role as the chief law enforcement officer in Osceola County that brings him the most name recognition. High profile crimes in the past few years have brought the area national attention. Who can forget the discovery of a mother and her three children lying dead in their homes in Celebration? The nation was shocked to learn their fate was allegedly at the hands of the father but that he was also living in the house with the bodies for weeks before being discovered.
Folks in Saint Cloud and beyond were shaken to the core by the disappearance and murder of Nicole Montalvo, a young mother who had a previous restraining order against her son’s father. The arrest of her in-laws made headlines as news circulated about the heinousness of the crimes.
Gibson often appeared in news briefs steadfast yet emotional. His determination to deliver justice to the victims and their families was clear. It was also clear he felt what most felt – horror, outrage and sadness. It’s what we hope to expect from the Chief LEO of the largest law enforcement agency in Osceola County.