Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
February 7, 2012
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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Florida Attorney General Names Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Braswell the 2011 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Attorney General Pam Bondi today named Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Braswell as the recipient of the Attorney General's 2011 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award. Deputy Braswell was joined by nine fellow officers from around the state at a ceremony recognizing them for their dedication to law enforcement and their protection of the public.

“Each nominee exemplifies bravery and leadership, and Floridians are fortunate to have this caliber of law enforcement protecting them on a daily basis,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I congratulate Deputy Braswell on winning the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award. He is truly a man of courage and honor.”

An 11-year veteran with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Braswell’s life changed on June 25, 2010. On June 25, Deputy Braswell and his partner Deputy Fairbanks were working in conjunction with the Proactive Community Attack Program investigating a series of burglary trends in a small Florida neighborhood. That night, the officers noticed a young man riding a bicycle down the road. His suspicions grew when the individual quickly crossed the street and later jumped off his bike after realizing that they were police officers.

After asking the man if everything was alright, Deputy Braswell and his partner attempted to build a rapport with him. Shortly after the suspect agreed to allow the officers to search him, he gave the officers his identification and headed toward the police car for his pat down. Deputy Braswell was following behind him when the suspect turned and fired several shots. Officer Braswell watched his partner stumble backwards and fall to the ground; he had been shot.

At great personal risk to his own life, Deputy Braswell fought back under extremely stressful circumstances to save the life of his partner. The suspect, who was determined to continue the assault, then shot Braswell multiple times. Through his quick recognition of the situation, Deputy Braswell utilized his weapon to end the assault upon himself and his partner. Deputy Braswell remained calm and comforted his wounded partner even though he himself had been shot. He radioed for assistance and stayed composed throughout the traumatic situation. Because of his bravery and dedication in a life-threatening circumstance, Deputy Braswell is the well-deserved recipient of the Attorney General’s award.

Each nominee for the Attorney General's award had previously been recognized as an “Officer of the Year” by a Florida law enforcement agency or organization that sponsors such a statewide award. Deputy Braswell was nominated by virtue of his selection by the Fraternal Order of Police, Florida Lodge. A selection committee appointed by the Attorney General considered the distinguished group of nominees from state agencies and organizations including the Florida Sheriff's Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association, the Florida Gang Investigators Association and the Florida Retail Federation.

Additional 2011 Award Nominees:

Detective Scott Frantz, Daytona Beach Police Department
Officer Ernest Goram, Tallahassee Police Department
Deputy Sheriff Con Kelley, Clay County Sheriff’s Office
Officer Duane North, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Special Agent Thomas Roper, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Master Corporal Cale Stevens, Florida Highway Patrol
Officer Christopher Troedson, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Investigator Daniel Williamson, Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Detective Neil Zierden, Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office

Follow this link for a list of the nominees’ accomplishments: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-8R9KZW/$file/2712nomineeinfo.pdf