Sheriff Bill Leeper grew up in Fernandina Beach, Florida. He spent over 35 years with the Florida Highway Patrol and served as a city commissioner and two-term mayor of Fernandina Beach before being elected sheriff of Nassau County in 2012. He was re-elected Sheriff in 2016 and again in 2020 and is presently serving his third term in office.
Sheriff Leeper holds an Associate of Science Degree from Vincennes University, an Associate of Arts Degree from Florida Community College at Jacksonville and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia College-Missouri. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 260.
He was drafted in 1971 by the New York Mets after his senior year at Fernandina Beach High School and played professional minor league baseball within their organization. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the Fernandina Beach High School Hall of Fame in 2006.
Sheriff Leeper currently serves as the 101st President of the Florida Sheriffs Association and is a past Chair of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches Board of Directors.
He resides in Fernandina Beach with his wife Emma (a retired nurse) where they have owned & operated a small retail business on Centre Street since 1984. They have two adult children Jordan and Chelsea and two granddaughters Harper and Memphis.
Sheriff Leeper is also the author of the traffic safety book “Highway of Horror.”
Fernandina Beach High School; Associate in Science Degree, Vincennes University; Associate in Arts Degree, Florida Community College; Bachelor of Arts Degree, Columbia College-Missouri; Law Enforcement Science and Criminal Justice Certificate, National Association of Police Chiefs; Florida Highway Patrol Academy; University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute; Northwestern University’s Senior Management Leadership Program; FBI Florida Executive Development Seminar, FBI National Academy Session 260.
Affiliations, Awards and Recognitions
Florida Department of Transportation “State Traffic Law
Enforcement Officer of the Year” 1995.
Florida Law Enforcement Public Information Officers Association
“Public Information Officer of the Year” 2008.
International Association of Chiefs of Police, “J Stannard Baker
Award” for Outstanding Career Achievement in Highway Safety, 2009.
Northeast Florida Safety Council, “Jerry Hamm Media Award” 2009.
Florida Public Relations Association “Grand Image Award” 2009.
State of Florida “Davis Productivity Award” for state government
employees whose work measurably increases productivity and promotes innovation.
Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles “GEM”
award for outstanding achievement.
Northeast Florida Safety Council, Board of Directors (Past President
and Chairman of the Board).
Nassau County Community Traffic Safety Team (Past Chairman).
Columbia College-Missouri Alumni Association, Board of Directors
(Past President); Columbia College-Missouri Board of Trustees.
Nassau County Outstanding Elected Official – 2014.
Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches Board of Directors (Past
Florida Sheriffs Association Board of Directors and Officer
Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award 2018
NAACP Nassau County Branch “Community Service Award” 2018