Remembering Deputy Barbara Pill Two Years Later
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // March 6, 2014
ABOVE VIDEO: “Having attended too many officer’s funerals over the years, what I was not prepared for was the sight of businesses along the procession route temporarily closed in honor of Barbara, with the business owners standing and holding signs that expressed touching thoughts and prayers for her family and friends.The schools with their children standing at attention with their hands over their hearts, and the many officers, public safety members and military personnel from around the country lined up showing their honor and respect for a fallen comrade. Each proudly demonstrating just how special Barbara was to our community and to the citizens she protected each and everyday.” – Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey (weshtv)
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Today is exactly two years since Deputy Barbara Pill was killed in the line of duty, and taken from her family, our agency and the community.
The anniversary of Barbara’s death on March 6, 2012 is a somber reminder of the many law enforcement officers across our great country that make the ultimate sacrifice every year. Last year, 105 law enforcement officers gave their lives to protect their communities and citizens. Of those, 33 were killed in a violent or deliberate attack.
While five officers were killed in 2012 were from the state of Florida, none strike closer to our hearts than our own Deputy Barbara Pill. Barbara was fatally shot while trying to apprehend robbery suspects who without hesitation made the decision to take Barbara’s life.
Like many of you, I will never forget the call that alerted me to Barbara’s death. I will also never forget the last time I saw Barbara, as she was standing with her family and friends at the Annual Awards Ceremony for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. In the days that followed many of us would recall our own memories of Barbara who was an incredible mother, wife, deputy and citizen.
While driving to Barbara’s funeral service I recall bracing myself for a very emotional service. The bagpipes, gun salute, playing of taps, fly-over and the finalizing moment when Dispatch completed the officer’s “out of service” across the radio.
Too Many Officer’s Funerals
Having attended too many officer’s funerals over the years, what I was not prepared for was the sight of businesses along the procession route temporarily closed in honor of Barbara, with the business owners standing and holding signs that expressed touching thoughts and prayers for her family and friends.
The schools with their children standing at attention with their hands over their hearts, and the many officers, public safety members and military personnel from around the country lined up showing their honor and respect for a fallen comrade. Each proudly demonstrating just how special Barbara was to our community and to the citizens she protected each and everyday.
While Barbara is the most recent law enforcement officer taken from our community, many others have made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives to protect us.
Brevard County Heroes are Officer Joseph Pellicano, Melbourne Police Department – 1986, Officer Gerald Johnson, Palm Bay Police Department – 1987, Officer Ronald Grogan, Palm Bay Police Department– 1987, Officer Philip Flagg, Satellite Beach Police Department – 1992, Sergeant Ernest Hartmann, Satellite Beach Police Department – 1992, Officer Stephen House, Titusville Police Department – 1989, Officer Jack Schnell, Titusville Police Department – 1982, Officer George Hanchley, Kennedy Space Center Security Police – 1986, Officer Charles Autry, Cocoa Beach Police Department – 1990, Lieutenant Roy Blake, Cocoa Police Department – 1954, Trooper Halley Strickland, FHP – 1954, Trooper Joseph Sawtell Jr. – 1966, Lieutenant Amos Cox, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office – 1965, Deputy Robert Nicol, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office – 1987, Deputy Ray Warner, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office – 1996, and Sergeant Lucille Ross, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office – 2004.
We honor these Heroes along with their families who will forever be remembered for their sacrifices and support.
Each of these officers were proud to put on their uniform each and every day to represent their profession, their families and most importantly their communities. I would ask that you keep these fallen officers and their families in your thoughts and prayers and would like to personally thank each of you for the tremendous support you give to our Brevard County Law Enforcement and Public Safety members everyday.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft. That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.
I pray for our Fallen officers and their families.
I also pray for all in Law Enforcement and appreciate their service and commitment to the citizens of Brevard County.
I thank Sheriff Wayne Ivey for his unfailing support of families of fallen officers. He is truly present and involved, and lives every word he speaks. For those of us who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, it means SO much!
I met deputy Pill unfortunately for a professional issue but just talking to her for those two hours while she investigated a break in I learned a lot about her. I will never forget the kindness she showed me and her calm demeaner is definately appreciated.
Very proud to have had her serving out community.