This week, I had the opportunity to recognize nine heroic law enforcement officers and service members with our Back the Blue Award for rescuing a distressed senior lost at sea. It was an honor to surprise them with the awards at the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Annual Protecting Seniors Law Enforcement Summit. These heroic public servants from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard risked their lives to rescue the senior in very dangerous conditions.
After spotting a boater in distress, the U.S. Coast Guard called CCSO to report a 16-foot aluminum vessel stranded roughly 15 miles off the shore in the Gulf of Mexico. In a quick and collaborate effort, CCSO and FWC officers responded to the scene, rescued and returned the senior to shore. A tornado struck the area shortly after the rescue—which could have been disastrous to any boater that remained in the water.
In Florida, we are dedicated to protecting our older citizens, and these officers and service members proved that in this daring rescue. Since we launched the Back the Blue campaign, we have issued more than 50 awards to those going above and beyond to forge positive relationships between law enforcement and local communities.
To learn more about our Back the Blue program, or to nominate someone for the award, click here.
By doing all we can to protect seniors, and honoring law enforcement officers who demonstrate extraordinary service, we are building a Stronger, Safer Florida.
Ashley Moody is attorney general of Florida.