A Message from Sheriff Gregory Tony:
COVID-19 hit home last month with the tragic loss of Broward Sheriff Deputy Shannon Bennett, who succumbed to medical complications brought on by the deadly disease.
With the impact this pandemic has had throughout the world, I’d like to break away from the traditional format of my message to the community and instead share some thoughts about Deputy Bennett – what his life meant to his family, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the community in which he served.
Shannon was the first law enforcement officer to die from COVID-19 at BSO and in the State of Florida. His untimely passing reinforces the serious threat of an enemy that we cannot see, yet we know is real. It’s never been more real than it is right now.
Deputy Bennett, 39, embodied what a law enforcement officer should be, serving BSO and Broward citizens for more than 12 years. His courage, professionalism, and a fierce commitment to doing what is right radiated in everything he did. A graduate of Deerfield Beach High School, Shannon joined BSO on June 6, 2007, as a detention deputy. His brother, Darren, had joined BSO as a detention deputy five years prior and supported Shannon’s efforts throughout his early days at the agency. With a desire to further his career in public safety, Shannon became cross-certified, and in 2013, he was reassigned to the Department of Law Enforcement and served as a road patrol deputy for nearly six years in Lauderdale Lakes.
In January 2019, Shannon returned to the very city in which he grew up. He was assigned to the BSO Deerfield Beach District as a beloved school resource officer at Deerfield Beach Elementary School.
Shannon considered BSO his second family. With the friendship, support, and guidance of his coworkers, He confidently served as an openly gay deputy and used his platform to help bridge the gap between the LGBTQ community and law enforcement. For seven years, Shannon worked and walked in the Stonewall Parade. I had the pleasure of working directly with him on future projects related to integrating and uniting our agency with the LGBTQ community, both internally and externally. He was a consummate professional who desired to see BSO continue to move forward.
Shannon leaves behind a family for whom he cared deeply. He is survived by his fiancé, Jonathan Frey; his mother, Barbara Bennett, and his brother, Darren, who left BSO in 2013 and is currently a campus pastor for Calvary Chapel North Miami.
When it is once again safe for the community to be together, BSO, along with his family, will host a memorial service in honor of his life and service. We hope you will join us.
Shannon’s death also serves as a somber reminder that this deadly virus knows no bounds. While we practice social distancing and follow stay-at-home orders as a community, our first responders bravely serve on the front lines, knowing that they put themselves at increased risk each day to keep us all safe. Please pray our men and women continue to return home safely.
As we continue our fight against the coronavirus, remember: we are all in this together! Let’s continue to follow the current guidelines until we overcome the threat of this deadly disease and resume our normal lifestyles. In the meantime, please be safe.
Service Equals Reward
Sheriff Gregory Tony
Certain Broward cities like Coconut Creek, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Plantation, Davie, Margate, Miramar, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, and Coral Springs maintain their police departments; however, BSO does provide communications and dispatch services to the following cities: Central Broward, Cooper City, Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lauderdale Lakes, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Parkland, Pembroke Park, West Park, Pompano Beach, Port Everglades, Tamarac, Weston and unincorporated West Broward.
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