SWAT officer at Pulse Night Club shooting named 2017 Officer of the Year

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By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
May 16, 2018

Lt. Scott Smith (Courtesy: Orlando Police Dept.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Eight officers were nominated for the 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Fort Meyers Detective Wolfgang Daniel was recognized for his pivotal role in taking down 22 members of a gang known as the Lake Boyz.

“Detective Daniel was the foundation of this investigation,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Volusia County Deputy Justin Ferrari’s act of heroism came during a response to a domestic dispute where a woman had been shot by her partner.

“They could hear the female victim screaming for help,” said Bondi.

Ferrari’s darling rescue was captured on his body cam. Jumping into the line of fire, he pulled the injured woman and her three children to safety.

Taking home the title of the 2017 Offer of the year was Orlando Police Lieutenant Scott Smith for his actions during the Pulse Night Club shooting.

Smith organized and led a party into the club and exchanged fire with the gunman.

“SWAT team members including Lieutenant Smith returned fire, killing the monster,” said Bondi.

His advice to other officers: love what you do.

“Enjoy serving the public and helping people and that's what it comes down to. It comes down to that desire to help people,” said Smith.

Special recognition was also given to five Florida police officers who have lost their lives since the start of 2018. The ceremony comes just one day after Highlands County Sheriff’s Deputy William Gentry was laid to rest.

In 2017, nine Florida officers lost their lives in the line of duty.

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