Sheriff's office swearing-in: 'A very solemn duty and oath' (SLIDESHOW)

swearing in OSCO nwfdn

Capt. Ted Pecot and more than 200 other Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies are sworn in during a ceremony Monday at the C.H. “Bull” Rigdon Fairgrounds and Recreation Complex on Lewis Turner Boulevard.

DEVON RAVINE | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 15:38 PM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — In the past year, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office made 210,000 calls to service, cleared four cold cases, established multiple outreaches and honored two of their own with the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery.

“It’s an honor to be here with you, an honor to serve as your sheriff, an honor to live in this community and an honor to live in this country,” said Sheriff Larry Ashley. “There has been much to be proud of this year.”

Senators, congressmen and local representatives attended the Sheriff’s Office’s swearing-in ceremony, watching more than 200 men and women be sworn in for the new year.

View a slideshow of the ceremony. >>

Ashley commended them for choosing a career that puts them on the front line locally.

“We live in uncertain times where there’s shootings at movie theaters, schools and offices,” he said. “We must maintain a unitary purpose. The thing that holds us together is our love of laws and love of freedom.

“We live our oaths literally. We will face more challenges, but we will not yield to anything.”

During the ceremony, U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller presented Cpl. Steve Hough and Cpl. Todd Watkins with the Congressional Award for Bravery. According to Miller, it was his first time presenting the award to anyone.

The two men were working with the U.S. Marshals Service in December 2011 to arrest a fugitive when Hough was shot once in the face and twice in the leg. Watkins used a ballistic shield and put himself between the gunman and Hough while shots were being fired.

“It’s fitting we look at these who have just taken an oath ... . Any one of you can be called to do the very same thing Corporal Hough and Corporal Watkins did,” Miller said to the crowd in Sheriff’s Office uniforms. “You have chosen to wear a badge ... and have taken upon yourselves a very solemn duty and oath.

“We sleep well at night ... because you are on duty 24 hours a day.”

Contact Daily News Staff Writer Angel McCurdy at 850-315-4432 or amccurdy@nwfdailynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @AngelMnwfdn.



Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

COMMENTS
▲ Return to Top
 

Local Faves