Deric Mordica


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Deric Mordica: A Life Of Service In Gadsden

Chattahoochee Police Chief Deric Mordica has dedicated his entire life to serving the people of the Big Bend region. Originally from the Frenchtown community in Tallahassee, Deric now protects the people of Gadsden County.

Inspired by his uncle, Fred Lee, who in 1952 became Tallahassee’s first black police officer, Deric pursued law enforcement as a career. Deric currently has over 25 years in the field. Before transferring to the Chattahoochee Police Department in Gadsden County, Chief Mordica previously served as an officer with the Leon County Police Department.

Chief Mordica holding an award with coworkers

Since joining the force in Chattahoochee, Deric has been recognized for his dedication and passion for helping the city maintain peace. In 2021, he became the first black man to hold the title of Chief of Police in Chattahoochee. A historic achievement, Deric’s tenure as chief also represents a personal goal he has had all his life. Whenever he visits Tallahassee, Deric visits the statue created in honor of his uncle and hopes to leave a legacy just as impactful.

Chief Mordica describes how in recent years the Big Bend region has become a refuge for those that have been displaced by severe tropical storms. He specifically pointed to the massive number of migrants the area received following Hurricanes Katrina and Michael. The influx of refugees from these events posed a challenge for Chattahoochee. Chattahoochee welcomed the new residents but wanted to ensure that the community as a whole remained peaceful. The community held concerns that rapid waves of immigration from such events could lead to a slight increase in crime.

Chief Mordica holding a puppy
Chief Mordica holding a puppy

With the assistance of Chief Mordica, Chattahoochee was able to maintain the lowest police call volume and crime rate in Gadsden County. Chief Mordica stressed that without the community’s ability to come together cohesively, the city wouldn’t be known as the safe haven it is today. Of all the cities he has worked in, Deric feels that Chattahoochee is the most tightly-knit and supportive community, something that has allowed the town to overcome hardship, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Chattahoochee is a great place to live and raise your children.”

Chief Deric Mordica

When Chattahoochee became a major site for healthcare during the pandemic due to the presence of the Florida State Hospital’s location in town, the community’s trust in each other allowed them to stay resilient when faced with such a crisis. Many worried these tight bonds might facilitate the spread of disease within the community. Despite this fear, the community as a whole has been able to remain healthy. The people in Chattahoochee are resilient and feel they owe their success to their trust in each other.

Chief Mordica wearing a mask and holding a sticker
Chief Mordica wearing a mask and holding a sticker

Though not a Chattahoochee native, Deric has fully embraced his new town and is very fond of it. Chief Mordica describes Chattahoochee as the “unofficial celebration station” of the big bend area. From his perspective, every major event in the county is best experienced in Chattahoochee. From the Fourth of July fireworks to the Christmas parade, every event is “bigger, louder, and flashier” than those held in Quincy or Tallahassee. He loves the riverfront venue and boasts that it regularly hosts concerts, showcases, and events throughout the year. To Chief Mordica, Chattahoochee is a fun, sociable town full of incredibly caring people. He describes how accepting the community has been of himself and of new officers. Chief Mordica feels he has truly found a home in Chattahoochee.

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