Lakesha Burton is a woman of courage, conviction and character. Her courage comes from her deep faith in God. Her conviction is reflected in her determination to consistently do the next right thing, and her character has been built by a lifetime of facing insurmountable challenges and overcoming them.
An extraordinary leader, Assistant Chief Burton is a 20-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. When she was named the first female executive director of the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, Burton’s life came full circle. She had attended PAL as a troubled 15-year-old mother with her one-year-old by her side. Playing basketball at PAL led to her receiving a full college scholarship from the University of Central Florida where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminology, later earning her master’s in criminology from Florida Metropolitan University. A way maker and pathfinder always, Burton has served in almost every aspect of police work during her career. She now serves as the fourth African American female assistant chief in JSO’s history. She served as assistant chief of the Community Engagement Section of JSO for two years, and now serves as a zone commander in the Division of Patrol and Enforcement.
Beyond the badge, Burton is widely known for boldly sharing her life’s story of resilience, tenacity and determination to help empower other girls and women with hope for their futures. Her heart is in helping others in need, especially children, which is the basis for her work in establishing “Tesha’s Hands,” a 501C(3) nonprofit that she created in memory of her deceased twin sister. Burton has used her powerful voice to advocate for good on local, national and international platforms.
Burton’s personal and professional experiences, along with her strong passion, have shaped her deep commitment to law enforcement and to our community. It’s this unique combination of experiences and knowledge of the community that makes her one of the most exceptional candidates to ever run for Jacksonville sheriff.