Tallahassee, Fla. (August 7, 2013) – The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) today announced that Marion County Sheriff’s Master Deputy, Tim Liberatore, has been selected as the “2013 FSA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.” Liberatore was recognized at the FSA Summer Conference in Marco Island for his dedication to law enforcement and living out his oath to serve and protect the public.
“We would like congratulate Deputy Liberatore and each of the outstanding officers who were nominated,” said Steve Casey, Executive Director of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “We give thanks to all the Florida Law Enforcement officers who protect our great state every day. The Florida Sheriffs’ Offices embody excellence as we make a difference in each of the 67 counties we serve, and we are honored that the brave efforts of Marion County Master Deputy Tim Liberatore were recognized today.”
Deputy Liberatore has been with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office since 2009, where he has played an active role in reducing the local crime rate by 41 percent. In 2012, Deputy Liberatore made 260 arrests, which resulted in 115 felony charges and 167 misdemeanor charges. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office recognizes deputies with the Eagle Eye Award when they are keenly observant and always vigilant. In 2012, Deputy Liberatore was selected as the Eagle Eye of the year from a pool of 193 candidates.
On July 1, 2012, Deputy Liberatore was conducting a security check in the area of Highway 27 and I-75 when he observed a vehicle with an expired tag pull into a business location. The individual spotted Deputy Liberatore and began walking away, leaving his vehicle behind. When Deputy Liberatore made contact with the suspect as he walked, Deputy Liberatore observed a small amount of blood on his shirt. As a precaution, Deputy Liberatore went to the suspect’s home to conduct a well-being check on the residents. While at the residence, Deputy Liberatore spoke with juveniles in the home and the neighbors. His interviews revealed that at least one of the juveniles had been molested by the suspect. He decided to interview the suspect after establishing a rapport with him. The suspect made a full confession to sexually abusing the child for several years and would have continued had it not been for the attention to detail of Deputy Liberatore. The suspect was later sentenced to two life terms as well as 10 additional years.
Sheriff Blair began his praise for Deputy Liberatore by quoting Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Sheriff Blair continued, "This was not the case with Deputy Liberatore. He is a good man who, because of the dedication he has for his job and his community, chose to do something. It was his perseverance that led him to solving this horrific crime which resulted in a predator of an innocent child being removed from our society."
For his dedicated service, the Florida Sheriffs Association has named him the 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. During their annual summer conference banquet, Liberatore was given a hearty round of applause from the 500-plus law enforcement attendees and their supporters, plus a handsome plaque and a check for $2,000.
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