A photo of a white male with brown hair and a brown and gray beard wearing a suit with a red tie standing in front of the Florida State Flag and the American flag. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Walton County Sheriff’s Office is proud to announce the graduation of Lieutenant John Cheek from the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Senior Leadership Program.

The 26th Class of the Senior Leadership Program is made up of representatives from 33 criminal justice agencies from around the state of Florida.

Cheek began his service at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office in July of 2022 and is currently assigned as the Patrol Commander for District 4.

In July 2021 Cheek graduated from the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute’s Leadership Academy.  In addition to his time as a District Lieutenant, Cheek has served as a Field Training Sergeant, Patrol Sergeant, Criminal Investigator, Field Training Officer, and Patrol Deputy.

The goal of the Senior Leadership Program is to prepare Florida’s criminal justice leadership for the challenging and changing demands of the future. Class participants studied the trends and events that will challenge criminal justice professionals and the state in the new millennium and examined the leadership skills necessary to create and lead the changes that lie ahead.

Cheek and his classmates met for six weeks over 10 months focusing on topics such as Risk Management, Trust-Based Leadership, and Futures Forecasting as it relates to criminal justice.

In 1990 the Florida Legislature established the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute (FCJEI) to meet the need for an innovative and multifaceted approach to educating and training criminal justice professionals. The FCJEI is housed within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and is affiliated with the State University System.

“This is a monumental accomplishment for Lieutenant Cheek,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “We continue our emphasis on a “Commitment to Excellence” which includes providing opportunities for staff to learn and attend training to help them become better leaders who help guide us into the future.”