Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 10-169

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • May 25, 2010
    • Contact Person:
    • J.D. Callaway : jcallawa@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • (813) 247-8058

    Sheriff's Major Retires After Nearly 27 Years Of Service

    Tom Bliss rose through the ranks to be a part of Sheriff Gee's Command Staff.
    • Sunday
    • May 30, 2010
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    • Hillsborough County
    • Tampa FL
    A veteran Hillsborough County Sheriff’s major is retiring on May 30, 2010, and closing the chapter on more than a quarter-century of service to the citizens of Hillsborough County.

    Tom Bliss, 54, will retire as commander of the Orient Road Jail.

    “These twenty-six years have been rewarding and challenging, but I would not change a thing,’’ Major Bliss says. “Moving to Florida and having the opportunity to serve under three Sheriffs is something I will always be proud of.’’

    Major Bliss left a job as a detention deputy at a jail in Washtenaw County in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1983 when a friend suggested the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office would be a good fit for him. Sheriff Walter C. Heinrich hired him.

    “Tom proved himself through his years here at the Sheriff’s Office,’’ says Sheriff David Gee. “He earned his gold oak leaves and helped make our Detention Department among the best in the nation. He will be missed for his leadership and his sense of humor.’’

    Major Bliss began his career at HCSO as a detention deputy at the Morgan Street Jail. Through the years he held command positions in the Work Release Center, Detention Training Section, Falkenburg Road Jail and finally the Orient Road Jail. Sheriff Gee appointed him as major in December 2008.

    “The time was right for me for retirement. I had achieved my goals as a deputy. Financially and personally, I was ready. I am proud of my accomplishments,’’ Major Bliss says.

    Family matters are next on the horizon. His daughter is getting married in July, and his son is moving to Japan to teach.

    “It’s time for me to do some things with my family, and then figure out if I want to go down a new path,’’ he says. “I will always be grateful to Sheriff Heinrich, Sheriff [Cal] Henderson and Sheriff Gee for their confidence in me. This Office has been part of my family for half my life.’’
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