Supporting law enforcement is very important to me and I have made it one of my office’s top priorities. I always enjoy working with deputies and officers and learning about recent cases or just parts of their everyday life. I want our law enforcement partners to know that our state fully supports them, so that is why I initiated the Back the Blue Campaign shortly after taking office.
Back the Blue highlights extraordinary and brave acts of law enforcement officers, persons or organizations that forge positive relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Just this week, I issued Back the Blue Awards to Jacksonville Sheriff Police Officers who risked their own lives to save another. Officer Kathleen James and Officer Chelsea McCullom responded to a vehicle crash on Interstate 10 that quickly erupted into fire. The officers heard screams coming from the vehicle, and without hesitation, went into action to rescue a female driver. They had to break a passenger window and physically force a jammed-door open to get to the woman. The officers then dragged the woman 10 feet away before the vehicle exploded and used their own bodies to shield the woman from flying shrapnel.
It is because of their quick-thinking and heroic actions that the driver is alive today. Despite life-threatening injuries, including second and third-degree burns to 40 percent of her body, the driver has made a full recovery.
It was an absolute honor to get to know Officers James and McCullom and present them a Back the Blue Award. Their selfless acts of bravery did not go unnoticed and I am so proud of them. Brave actions like these take place every day in Florida and across the country. I am, and will always be, eternally grateful for the men and women who put on their uniform every day to protect us.
For more information about our Back the Blue Award and to nominate a law enforcement officer, citizen or organization, go to MyFloridaLegal.com