St. Lucie County Statement Regarding Death Of Officer
Here is a statement from St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara regarding Sgt. Gary Morales, who was killed in the line of duty Feb. 28, 2013:
We are about to observe the first anniversary of the passing of St. Lucie County Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Morales, killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop on Feb. 28, 2013. He is the sixth member of the Sheriff's Office to have given his life in the service of our community.
This has been a difficult year for our Sheriff's Office family. Gary's perpetual, confident smile and gregarious personality are etched in our memory. He was a 13-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, and he was 35 when he lost his life.
As difficult as it has been for the members of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, it has been more difficult for Gary's large family. Throughout the year, we have been in close contact with Holly, his widow and the mother of his two children, as well as the rest of the Morales family, doing what we can to be provide comfort and support.
Gary was an outstanding Deputy Sheriff. I had the privilege of promoting Gary to the rank of Sergeant on Jan. 18, 2013. Just 41 days later, he was gone. Heserved his country honorably as a member of the United States Air Force from 1995 to 1999 and received numerous medals. He joined the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office in 2000.
He had an outstanding career with our agency. He paid particular attention to the training of our Sheriff's Office members. That is why I renamed our training facility the "Sgt. Gary Morales Training Complex" in his memory.
One example of his dedication to training was his idea for training our deputies to shoot from their cars when confronted with an adversary using deadly force. We instituted this plan within the past few months, and every deputy in our agency is in the process of receiving this training. In his death, the legacy of Sgt. Morales will live within the men and women who undergo this training.
I hope the first anniversary of Gary's passing will be a time of solemn reflection by the members of our community on the important role of our brave first responders in making this such a special community, and the potential dangers they face every day of the year to keep us safe.
Source: St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office