Timeline of Lakesha Burton’s Life

  • Lakesha Anderson was born in Miami in 1975 with twin sister Latesha and soon relocated to Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Lakesha has four siblings: an older sister, an older brother, her twin sister and a younger sister.
  • She reported being abused to authorities. Her abuser was arrested and released shortly thereafter for lack of evidence.
  • She survived the darkest times of her life during the next two years, battling drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, failing school, suspensions, hopelessness, depression, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
  • In 1992, at 17 years old, Lakesha accepted Christ into her life and her life changed forever. She met a police officer who introduce her to the Police Athletic League. PAL and its counselors helped her get her life back on track.
  • In 1993, she was elected to the student council at Wolfson High School. She was also named queen of the prom and homecoming as well as student athlete of the year and turn-around student of the year for all of Duval County.
  • She graduated high school with a 3.0 GPA and a full basketball scholarship to the Lake City Community College and the University of Central Florida where she enrolled with her three-year-old son.
  • From 1993 until 1995 she played basketball at Lake City Community College. During this time, she was arrested for theft.
  • In 1995, she transferred to the University of Central Florida and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice.
  • After her college graduation, Lakesha applied for a job with the Orlando Police Department, but OPD wouldn’t hire her because of her arrest for theft while at LCC.
  • She worked as a counselor at a group home for troubled teens in Orlando until she moved back to Jacksonville in 1997 on the urging of newly-elected Jacksonville Sheriff Nat Glover who gave her a chance to become a police officer and would later become her mentor.
  • Back in Jacksonville, she started working at Daniel Memorial helping troubled and abused kids. She applied for a job with JSO and entered its training academy.
  • Once she completed the academy, she started as a bailiff at the Duval County Courthouse until she began working as a police officer.
  • From the age of 15 until she started at JSO’s police academy, Lakesha received some type of government assistance (food stamps, welfare checks, WIC and HUD housing.) She used this assistance as steppingstone to a better life.
  • Two weeks into her JSO field training, she witnessed and reported an incident involving excessive use of force by a JSO police office. She had witnessed officers beating a handcuffed suspect. While her decision to contact Internal Affairs was hard to accept for some fellow recruit officers, it was consistent with how she has spent career speaking up for what she thought was right, even when standing alone.
  • During the first years of her law enforcement career, she was in relationship that involved domestic violence. She escaped this relationship and is now an award-winning advocate for survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Lakesha was JSO’s fourth black female police sergeant, second black female lieutenant, and the fourth black female assistant chief to earn that rank in JSO’s history. She was the first woman appointed to run the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville in its 45-year history. Only four black females have risen to the rank of assistant chief/chief in JSO’s history.
  • In 2021 Lakesha decided to run for election as Florida’s first black female sheriff.