Attorney General Pam Bondi today named Orlando Police Department Lieutenant Scott Smith as the 2017 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Attorney General Bondi recognized Lieutenant Smith and seven other officers from across the state for their dedication and courage protecting Floridians.
“I am eternally grateful for these nominees and all our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to keep us safe,” said Attorney General Bondi. “We cannot thank these officers enough for the sacrifices they and their families make daily to protect our communities.”
On June 12, 2016, Lieutenant Scott Smith was one of the Watch Commanders during the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando. This incident would become the second deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history. Smith organized and led a team into the nightclub. Smith shot at the suspect inside the building, allowing responding officers to rescue patrons and employees still inside the club.
Smith played a critical role during the law enforcement response to the Pulse nightclub attack. Smith commanded the initial tactical response as a first responder. Smith led officers into the building, confronting the active shooter with return fire, limiting the shooter’s access to further victims. SWAT team members, including Smith, returned fire, killing the suspect. During a dangerous situation, Smith displayed commendable acts of valor and heroism.
A selection committee appointed by Attorney General Bondi considered the distinguished group of nominees from state agencies and organizations.
The following law enforcement officers are the additional nominees:
- Detective Jeff Batz, Florida Department of Financial Services;
- Officer Schiefer S. Buckles, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Agriculture Law Enforcement;
- Special Agent Don Cannon, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Regional Operations Center;
- Detective Wolfgang Daniel, Fort Myers Police Department, Special Investigations Group;
- Deputy Justin Ferrari, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office;
- Detective Sandra Marquez, City of Aventura Police Department; and
- Corporal Julio Torres, Florida Highway Patrol.
For more information on the nominees’ accomplishments, click here.