Memorial Ceremony

April 16, 2009

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Sheriff Al Lamberti and the men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office honored the memories of Deputy Philip Billings; Town Marshal John Clifton; Deputy Worth Edwards; Officer James Thomas; Fire Rescue Lt. Mark Freeman and Fire Rescue Lt. Rick Scorgie during a ceremony held at the Ron Cochran Public Safety Building on April 16.

Sheriff Al Lamberti joined dozens of former New York Police and Fire Department and BSO employees Thursday morning to honor the memory of those killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Of the nearly 3,000 people killed that day, hundreds were first responders from the NYPD, NYFD and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

“On Sept. 11, 2001, 343 firefighters and 60 police officers died tragically.They were simply doing their job. To not pay respect to that, really, is a mistake,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said. “They knew they had a job to do, and that’s why they kept going back and going back and going back.”

The two-hour service in front of the Public Safety Building followed the timeline of the attacks. Throughout the service, bells tolled to note the times when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower of the World Trade Center, when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the south tower, when American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon, when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pa. and when each tower collapsed.

Gerald R. Coffman of the FDNY United Firefighters Association, Broward County Division, presented a 70-pound piece of structural steel from the World Trade Center to BSO. That piece of metal will be installed permanently in the lobby of the Public Safety Building.

Gerald R. Coffman, vice president of the FDNY United Firefighters Association, Broward County Division, shakes hands with Sheriff Al Lamberti in front of the piece of steel from the World Trade Center. The metal piece, which Coffman presented to BSO, will be installed permanently in the Public Safety Building.

Hundreds of attendees heard Sheriff Al Lamberti speak during the Patriot Day Thursday in front of the Public Safety Building.

Hundreds of attendees heard Sheriff Al Lamberti speak during the Patriot Day Thursday in front of the Public Safety Building.

Gerald R. Coffman, vice president of the FDNY United Firefighters Association, Broward County Division, shakes hands with Sheriff Al Lamberti in front of the piece of steel from the World Trade Center. The metal piece, which Coffman presented to BSO, will be installed permanently in the Public Safety Building.

Sheriff Al Lamberti Honors BSO's Fallen Heroes

Sheriff Al Lamberti Honors BSO's Fallen Heroes

During a memorial service on Thursday, Sheriff Al Lamberti and the men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office paid tribute to Deputy Joseph Conte, Officer Scott Winters and Driver/Engineer Michael Douthitt.

Dep. Conte was ambushed and gunned down while escorting prisoners from the Broward County Jail to a medical office in Fort Lauderdale. One of the inmates – a man whose nickname was “Mad Dog” – had planned an escape. He got his girlfriend to hire a gunman, promising to pay him $15,000, which they did not have, and then he complained of a toothache. As Deputy Conte led the inmate from a detention van to the doctor’s office he was confronted by the gunman and was shot and killed.

Pompano Beach Police Officer Scott Winters was shot and killed July 29, 1990 during a struggle with a violent suspect. Officer Winters and his K9 partner, Baron, were assisting in the search for a man wanted for beating and raping a young girl. When Officer Winters located the suspect a violent struggle ensued and the suspect gained control of his service weapon. He was shot twice below his vest. The suspect was apprehended and sentenced to death.

Driver/Engineer Michael Douthitt, a 23-year veteran, was assigned to Station 17 in West Park. In the early morning hours of July 2, 2007, Station 17 units responded to a working structure fire at 61 West Lake Dr. in Pembroke Park. After returning to the station, D/E Douthitt felt ill, went home and was subsequently hospitalized for a cardiac event. He was released from the hospital later that week. On July 13, 2007, while at home with his wife of 20 years, Ruth, he went into cardiac arrest. He later died at Wellington Regional Hospital in Palm Beach County.

Photo caption: Sheriff Al Lamberti presents flowers to the family of Driver/Engineer Michael Douthitt.

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A Big Success

The first Fallen Heroes Golf Tournament was held on Saturday, January 26th at the Deerfield Country Club. This charity golf tournament was held to raise money for the families of Broward Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Chris Reyka and BSO Deputies Maury Hernandez and Paul Rein, who were all shot in the line of duty in 2007.

This sold out tournament was a big success raising $30,000! Over 130 golfers, along with community members, attended the event to share in golf, raffles, a silent auction and food & fun. The money raised was donated to the funds set up by the Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County for the Hernandez, Reyka and Rein families.

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Spencer Reyka, son of slain Sergeant Chris Reyka, hits first ball to kickoff the tournament.

Deputy Maury Hernandez pictured with the Reyka and Rein families attended the Inaugural Fallen Heroes Golf Tournament and Auction.

Moment of Silence

November 1, 2007

Sheriff Al Lamberti (center) stands with (from  l. to r.): Stefanie Tephford, Tony Yanniello (seated), Coral Springs Police Sgt. Bob Behan, Megan Behan (not seen), and Yanniello family friend Sam Rumble Thursday morning at a memorial service for five public servants who died in the line of duty.

Sheriff Al Lamberti (center) stands with (from  l. to r.): Stefanie Tephford, Tony Yanniello (seated), Coral Springs Police Sgt. Bob Behan, Megan Behan (not seen), and Yanniello family friend Sam Rumble Thursday morning at a memorial service for five public servants who died in the line of duty. Stefanie Tephford’s husband, Brian, died on November 12th, 2006 after being shot on a traffic stop while working a special detail in a Tamarac apartment complex. Tony Yanniello’s son, who shared his name, was shot and killed on October 18th, 1984 approaching a domestic disturbance near West Hollywood. The Behan’s brother, Patrick died on November 13th, 1990 after he was shot outside a Pembroke Park convenience store. All three were Broward Sheriff’s deputies.

Then-Broward County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Richard Korte died on October 3rd, 1999 following a prolonged line of duty illness. In 2003, Broward County Fire Rescue became Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue. Korte’s family was present at the memorial service.

Also remembered was Lauderdale Lakes Police Officer Jerry Genova, who died in November 1972 while involved in a pursuit on his police motorcycle. The Lauderdale Lakes Police Department merged with BSO in March, 1977.

A wreath was placed on the memorial at the Ron Cochran Public Safety Complex during the ceremony and the Broward Sheriff’s Office combined Honor Guard was joined by Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Davie, Sunrise and Coconut Creek Police Department Honor Guards.