Sheriff Gualtieri began his law enforcement in 1982 when he joined the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office as a detention deputy working in the County Jail. He then worked for the Dunedin Police Department as a police officer before returning to the Sheriff’s Office as a patrol deputy. During his career, Sheriff Gualtieri also served in the Investigative Operations and Narcotics Bureaus where he conducted complex international drug trafficking and money laundering investigations for 8 years while serving on federal taskforces. In 1991 he was named Pinellas County Deputy Sheriff of the Year for his efforts in dismantling major drug trafficking organizations through the use of electronic surveillance.
Sheriff Gualtieri earned a Bachelor’s degree with high honors from Eckerd College. In 1998 he left the Sheriff’s Office to attend Stetson University College of Law, from which he graduated cum laude. After graduating from law school Sheriff Gualtieri entered private law practice with a firm in Tampa where he represented employers in labor and employment law litigation.
Sheriff Gualtieri returned to the Sheriff’s Office in 2006, serving as General Counsel and Chief Deputy until becoming Sheriff in 2011. During the economic downturn between 2009 and 2013 Sheriff Gualtieri oversaw a reduction in the Sheriff’s Office budget of $108 million and the elimination of over 600 positions. During that same period the Sheriff’s Office reduced crime in its service area by over 20%.