Collier County Sheriff’s Office celebrates 100th anniversary

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 100 years of service on Monday in Everglades City, which is home to the county’s first courthouse.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk believes it’s an honor and a privilege to protect the people of Collier County and paid tribute to the first sheriff to do so one hundred years ago.

In 1923, Everglades City was rugged and wild but not lawless, thanks to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the first sheriff, William Riley Maynard.

Sheriff William Riley Maynard. (Credit: Collier County Sheriff’s Office)

“I think he was what we would call today a true renaissance man,” said Wayne Maynard, Sheriff Maynard’s grandson.

“It had to be quite an adventure to come here and be the first sheriff at that time and deal with that environment and all the characters that were out at the time,” said Ryan Maynard, Sheriff Maynard’s great-grandson.

Wayne and Ryan Maynard are proud to wear their family name.

“He pretty much covered the grounds,” said Wayne.

The family says Sheriff Maynard poured his blood, sweat, and tears into maintaining law and order with the help of just one sworn deputy, who happened to be Maynard’s wife, Deputy Sheriff Blanche Maynard.

“One of his big accomplishments was through his wife. Blanche. Who, in his absence, went out and re-captured three criminals that escaped from the jail in Everglades City with my father on her hip. And tracking down these criminals. One of which was a murderer. And bringing them all back to justice,” said Wayne Maynard.

The first Collier County Sheriff’s Office. (Credit: Collier County Sheriff’s Office)

“It all started with Sheriff Maynard,” said Sheriff Rambosk.

The humble beggings with the original sheriff’s office and jail in Everglades City started with three people. One hundred years later, there are 1,300 deputies, all following Maynard’s path of good work and great service for the people.

“It’s a lot to follow up. Right. So certainly, whenever you see everything that he did, you think about, OK, what mark am I going to leave? But I think the one thing that certainly seems to be president is he was a really great family, man. And so I want to try to do the same thing,” said Ryan Maynard.

“There are a number of things that will continue to keep us to be successful. That is the proper recruitment of proper training and a philosophy of service to others before self, which makes the difference here in Collier County,” said Rambosk.

The current Collier County sheriff remembered and recognized the sacrifices that the very first sheriff of Collier County made.

“You had men and women from that era who actually changed and set forth a path for law enforcement in Collier County to become one of the best in the nation,” said Rambosk.

Wayne and Ryan said they’ll push Sheriff Maynard’s legacy forward the best way they know how by doing good work and serving others.

Sheriff Rambosk said there have only been seven sheriffs in one hundred years. He said it’s important to know that each one of them contributed significantly to making what he calls the most professional law enforcement agency in the nation.

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