|May 16, 2018
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today named Orlando Police Department Lieutenant Scott Smith as the 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Attorney General Bondi recognized Lieutenant Smith and seven other officers from across the state for their dedication and courage protecting Floridians.
“Florida has some of the best and bravest law enforcement officers in the world, and I am honored to be able to recognize these heroes through our annual law enforcement awards,” said Attorney General Bondi. “We cannot thank these officers enough for the sacrifices they and their families make daily to protect our communities and keep us safe.”
On June 12, 2016, Lieutenant Scott Smith was one of the Watch Commanders during the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando. This incident would become the second deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history. Lieutenant Smith organized and led a team into the nightclub. Lieutenant Smith shot at the suspect inside the building, allowing responding officers to rescue patrons and employees still inside the club.
Lieutenant Smith played a critical role during the law enforcement response to the Pulse nightclub attack. He commanded the initial tactical response as a first responder. He led officers into the building, confronting the active shooter with return fire, limiting the shooter’s access to further victims. SWAT team members, including Lieutenant Smith, returned fire, killing the suspect. During a dangerous situation, Lieutenant Smith displayed commendable acts of valor and heroism.
A selection committee appointed by Attorney General Bondi considered the distinguished group of nominees from state agencies and organizations.
The following law enforcement officers are the additional nominees:
· Detective Jeff Batz, Florida Department of Financial Services;
· Officer Schiefer S. Buckles, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement;
· Special Agent Don Cannon, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Regional Operations Center;
· Detective Wolfgang Daniel, Fort Myers Police Department, Special Investigations Group;
· Deputy Justin Ferrari, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office;
· Detective Sandra Marquez, City of Aventura Police Department; and
· Corporal Julio Torres, Florida Highway Patrol.
For more information on the nominees’ accomplishments, click here.