This week, we celebrated Sheriffs Day at the Florida Capitol. Supporting Florida’s law enforcement community is a top priority of our office, and as the wife of a federal law enforcement agent I know intimately the risks and sacrifices involved with upholding an oath to defend others.
To say thank you, we invited sheriffs from across Florida to our office for coffee. I am grateful for the commitment these men and women make to fight crime and protect Floridians.
We had the opportunity to honor one of these heroes at the Florida Cabinet meeting. Hillsborough County Lieutenant Anthony Collins grew up in a dangerous neighborhood in Tampa and that inspired him to become a law enforcement officer.
Lt. Collins uses his personal experience to create positive relationships between local law enforcement and the community, especially youth struggling with anger management or drug abuse. Lt. Collins was joined by his family as we presented him with the Attorney General’s Back the Blue Award.
His son Anthony Jr. even spoke up at the Cabinet meeting to let everyone know how proud he is of his father.
For more information about Back the Blue, click here.
Later in the week, we honored more law enforcement officers and first responders at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Hometown Heroes Awards Ceremony. The ceremony recognized people who went above and beyond the call of duty during Hurricane Michael.
I was humbled by their stories. These first responders neglected their own safety and well-being to help people through the storm.
For every award we give out and story of bravery and sacrifice we tell, there are hundreds of other stories we never hear. Stories of law enforcement officers buying groceries for struggling families or helping the homeless find employment.
These officers give so much of themselves, and we owe them more than we could ever repay. The next time you see a law enforcement officer, even if they are writing you a speeding ticket, please take a moment to say thank you.