|February 12, 2020
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today named Franklin County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Jeff Hewitt and Deputy Jared Hewitt as 2019’s Law Enforcement Officers of the Year. The Attorney General's Office recognized the father and son duo, along with eight other law enforcement officers across the state for their dedication to protecting Floridians.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Courage and service must run in our award winners’ family. While others were fleeing, this father and son duo headed straight toward the flames. Because of their bravery, an entire family was saved. I am proud to announce Lieutenant Jeff Hewitt and Deputy Jared Hewitt as 2019’s Law Enforcement Officers of the Year.”
On June 24, 2018, the small coastal town of Eastpoint experienced one of the most horrific fires in its history. The fire destroyed 36 homes and consumed more than 950 acres of land. Due to the brave and selfless actions of Lt. Hewitt and Dep. Hewitt, there were no casualties during this tragedy.
After the order for deputies to retreat from the flames, due to zero visibility and the approaching fire, a call for help came for anyone in the area of Buck Street to attempt to locate and rescue a family of three trapped in a vehicle. Both Lt. Hewitt and Dep. Hewitt heard the call for help, and each arrived at the vehicle from opposite directions, at the same time. The front end of the vehicle was covered in flames, and Lt. Hewitt and Dep. Hewitt worked to free the family from the truck and saved all three, including a four-year-old child.
The Attorney General's Office awarded Lt. Hewitt and Dep. Hewitt during the Attorney General’s Annual Law Enforcement Officer Awards Ceremony held in the Florida Cabinet Meeting Room at the State Capitol.
Each of today’s honorees had been previously selected as the Officer of the Year by a Florida law enforcement agency or association. The Florida Sheriffs Association nominated Lt. Hewitt and Dep. Hewitt. A selection committee appointed by Attorney General Moody considered the distinguished group of nominees from state agencies and organizations.
The following law enforcement officers are the additional nominees:
- Officer Schiefer Buckles, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
- Detective Andrew Goodlet, Polk County Sheriff’s Office;
- Sergeant Chris Nichol, Panama City Police Department;
- Corporal Mithil Patel, Florida Highway Patrol;
- Officer Michael Rice, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission;
- Detective Sean Sweeney, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office;
- Detective DeWayne White, Florida Department of Financial Services; and
- Special Agent Jennifer Wolf, Florida Department of Law Enforcement.