Orange Co. Sheriff’s Office promotes first Black woman to Chief Deputy spot

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time in its nearly 200 year history, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office promoted a Black woman to one of the highest leadership roles in the department.

On Friday, the department held an awards ceremony for new Chief Deputy Denise Demps, the fourth-highest leader in the sheriff’s office and the first-ever Black woman in the job.

“I just think it’s great to be able to be the first, I don’t expect to be the last,” said Demps. “So the crack in the ceiling is there, but I want everyone, all the females behind that want to aspire to be Chief Deputy to break the ceiling glass totally open.”

Chief Deputy Demps worked up the ranks and paid her dues in patrol, undercover narcotics, child abuse investigations and internal affairs. Now, she is in charge of multiple divisions.

“I’m the only one at the top executive level so it’s exciting to have that perspective at the table and thinking about what we need to do to be more equitable and make sure that everyone is being represented at the table,” she said about being the only woman in an executive role.