Corrections officers get bridge in honor


Published: Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at 11:48 p.m.
They sometimes put their lives on the lines policing some of the most dangerous criminals.
But now, Florida's corrections officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice are being honored by the designation of the Correction Officers Memorial Bridge on State Road 16 at the Bradford/Union county line.
The Bradford and Union County commissions each drafted a resolution mentioning the death of John S. "Steve" Dennard, who was killed in 1983 at Union Correctional Institution.
The Florida Department of Transportation held a designation ceremony Tuesday at the New River Bridge. State Rep. Aaron Bean was the keynote speaker. The DOT installed signs at both ends of the bridge designating it as "Correction Officers Memorial Highway."
More than 30 Florida corrections officers have died in the line of duty, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
  • Stepping it up: If residents thought they were seeing more Alachua County Sheriff's deputies in uniform around the county Wednesday, they were right.
    About 40 deputies normally in plain clothes, not uniforms, dressed out and took part in special details around the county. Detectives and deputies from the agency's warrants bureau looked over vehicles at a checkpoint set up in the 2400 block of SW 122nd Street. Later in the day, they checked on the addresses of convicted sex offenders, who are required to report to law enforcement if they move and change their residences.
    The agency held the details on a day when deputies were required to appear in uniform for the Sheriff's Office annual inspection, said spokesman Sgt. Steve Maynard.
    "We took advantage of the increased uniform presence," he said, using them on operations that require extra officers. "If you're going to check on 317 (sex offenders), that's obviously very time-intensive," Maynard said about why additional deputies were needed for that detail.
    Deputies issued 15 warning citations and 17 citations for equipment violations during the traffic safety checkpoint.
  • Honoring firefighters: Until an emergency, they may be forgotten.
    But, a few weeks ago, the Alachua County Commission took the time to recognize the area's firefighters. The commission proclaimed August as Alachua County Firefighter Appreciation Month. The award was accepted by Alachua County Fire Rescue.
    "It's a good feeling any time the commission recognizes the sacrifice that we give the county as far as we go to working a fire or a medical call. All the (firefighters) put their lives on the line for the citizens of the county," said ACFR Lt. Mark Wright, who has been with the agency for 19 years and works out of Station 15 off SW 88th Street.
    Commissioners also recognized Florida firefighters who collected more than $1.3 million in over 300 communities for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
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