Christian Buchhofer was born in Aschaffenburg, Germany where he spent the first 11½ years of his life. While there, he attended first through fourth grade in a German-speaking school. He began learning to read and write the English language when he transferred to a English-speaking military sponsored school in the fifth grade. Because his step-dad (who is from New York) spoke English in the home, Buchhofer could speak and understand English. Moving to a school where German was taught as a foreign language enabled him to learn to read and write in English as well.
In 1992, Buchhofer, along with his mom and step-dad, moved to Cape Coral, Florida. His mom found employment with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD). His step-dad worked in detention at both the state prison and later at the Lee County Sheriff’s office. He grew up around people with military and law enforcement backgrounds, and believes ‘it’s in his blood’. While in high school, Buchhofer was an Explorer, and became a part-time employee of the LCSD in the forensics division. During his senior year, his job allowed him the opportunity to work in the evidence room and at crime scenes. This experience would prove to be quite valuable in the future. After a lot of hard work both in and out of the classroom, Buchhofer graduated from Cape Coral High School in 1999.
After graduating from high school, Buchhofer attended Edison State College. Feeling a pull toward a career in law enforcement, he attended the Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy and received his certification in Corrections. Unfortunately, even after passing the state exam, Buchhofer was unable to be sworn in because his citizenship and naturalization were still pending. He ended up having to work as a civilian for the west district (Fort Myers Beach area) as a civilian clerk for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. After about a year, Buchhofer was asked to go back to the evidence room and fill in for people who were retiring.
Around 2001, Buchhofer finally received the long awaited good news that he had received his U.S. citizenship. At this point, he was sworn in by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department allowing him to transfer to the jail and work as a Corrections Officer. He worked in this capacity for approximately four years. During this time he went back to the Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy and completed their crossover program allowing him to attain his Law Enforcement certification.
Buchhofer continued to work for LCSD and was assigned to Corrections until August of 2005. Ready for a change, he applied with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department for a road patrol position and was quickly hired. He remained with the Road Patrol Division until November of 2009. He then transferred to the Criminal Investigations Division with HCSO and worked as a detective until early last year when he was promoted to Sergeant within the Criminal Investigations Division. In January of this year, Buchhofer received word that he was being promoted again, this time to Lieutenant.
Lieutenant Bucchofer spends his days ensuring that everyone in his division is doing their job, reviews and assigns cases, handles certain legal aspects of cases, properly disposes of evidence according to Florida statutes, and responds to crime scenes as needed. He has been a member of the SWAT team for three years, and is currently a leader.
Lt. Buchhofer, his wife of 13 years and their two children are a close-knit family who love to spend time together. He and his wife enjoy road cycling and short distance runs in their time off. The entire family makes it part of their mission in life to travel, go on adventures, make good memories and experience new things.
Without a doubt, Lt. Buchhofer loves a good challenge. Throughout his life, he hasn’t let language, citizenship or any other obstacle stand in the way of his law enforcement dream. He stated that “it’s exciting being able to help people.” Growing up in a law enforcement family where everyone is always on the go is what he knows, and “being trapped in an office all day” isn’t for him. He thoroughly enjoys being able to get out in the community to help those in need. Hendry County is fortunate to have such a dedicated officer amongst the ranks.
With the ongoing news coverage of police shootings in this nation and the negative attitude toward the police nationwide, the staff of the Caloosa Belle has decided to show our support to the men and women of the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department who protect us every day. In the following weeks we will be introducing you to them and letting you know what they do to keep you safe every day.