Ten Law Enforcement Officers inducted into Hall of Fame


For Immediate Release
May 15, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Current and former law enforcement officers from throughout Florida were honored this morning at the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.   The ceremony honored inductees from 2020 as well as 2021 inductees.
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen presided over the ceremony.  
The inductees were nominated by the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Police Benevolent Association, Fraternal Order of Police and the State Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Association, and then were selected by a committee.  The inductees were approved by Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Cabinet. 
Governor Ron DeSantis said, “While some want to ‘defund the police’ in other parts of the country, in Florida, we unapologetically support our law enforcement community. In 2021, we’ve taken action to stand firmly behind the men and women who wear the uniform by providing bonuses directly to first responders and signing the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the nation. I’m proud today to honor some of the most accomplished officers in our state and thank them for their remarkable service.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I could not be more grateful for the 2020 and 2021 Florida Law Enforcement Hall of Fame inductees for their commitment to serve and protect our state. Each of these officers has played a pivotal, historic role in shaping and advancing Florida law enforcement. Our state is stronger and safer because they answered the call to serve.”
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Congratulations to the outstanding law enforcement officers being honored today for their exemplary service to our great state. As your CFO, I’m proud to honor and support these heroes who selflessly run toward danger to protect our communities every day. I applaud them for their service and sacrifice to Floridians and extend my sincerest gratitude as they receive this well-deserved recognition.”
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried said, “Florida's law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to serve our communities and citizens. It's an honor to recognize some of Florida's finest law enforcement professionals from across our great state. From modernization and innovation, to leadership and diversity, to human trafficking and disaster response, the 2020 and 2021 inductees of the Florida Law Enforcement Officers' Hall of Fame exemplify service before self while protecting the public.”
Lawrence W. Crow Jr., Lakeland Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Polk County’s longest serving sheriff, Lawrence W. Crow Jr. began his career as a police cadet at the Lakeland Police Department in 1962 and rose through the ranks to become chief in 1980. In 1987, he was appointed Polk County Sheriff and was reelected every term until his retirement in 2004.  Sheriff Crow was instrumental in modernizing the sheriff’s office with laptop computers in patrol cars, using computer-driven crime analysis, and launching the agency’s first interactive internet and intranet platforms.
James M. Gabbard, West Palm Beach and Vero Beach Police Departments
James M. Gabbard began his law enforcement career at the age of 19 when he joined the West Palm Beach Police Department.  In 1986, he was appointed chief of Vero Beach PD, focusing on modernization and law enforcement accreditation. Chief Gabbard was integral in the construction of a new state-of-the-art police headquarters and firearms training facility.  In 2005 Chief Gabbard retired from the police department to become city manager of Vero Beach, serving in that position until 2011. 
William Liquori, Orlando and Altamonte Springs Police Departments
William A. Liquori began his law enforcement career with the Orlando Police Department in 1958 and rose to the position of deputy chief in 1982. He was later appointed police chief for Altamonte Springs PD, where he reshaped the department into one that attained national recognition in community policing and problem solving. Chief Liquori teaches nationally for several associations, colleges and academies in the areas of ethics, discipline and internal affairs, as well as budgeting and management of law enforcement agencies.
William “Jay” Romine, Holmes Beach Police Department
William “Jay” Romine began his career in law enforcement in 1979 as an auxiliary police officer at Holmes Beach PD and continued to rise through the ranks, becoming chief of police in 1993. In 2004, when several hurricanes made landfall in Florida, Chief Romine was president of the Florida Police Chiefs Association.  Under his guidance, FPCA was a leader in coordinating disaster response to all areas of the state. After retiring in 2013, he was appointed director of the Law Enforcement Academy at Manatee Technical College, and he continues to serve in that capacity today.
Donna Uzzell, Tallahassee Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Donna Uzzell began her law enforcement career in 1981 as a patrol officer with the Tallahassee Police Department. In 1993, she was hired as a program manager at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and three years later became the director of FDLE’s Criminal Justice Information Services, where she served for 17 years. During that time, she helped establish the Florida sexual offender/predator and career offender registration programs. She was also responsible for establishing the Florida AMBER Alert, Missing Child Alert and Silver Alert programs and was a driving force behind Florida’s annual Missing Children’s Day.

Nathaniel Glover, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
Jacksonville’s first hostage negotiator, Nathaniel Glover played a critical role in defusing life-threatening situations in the 1970s and later became the first African-American to serve in a top position at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, first as deputy director of police services, and then as director. Duval County voters elected Glover to sheriff in 1995, making him the first Black sheriff in Florida since the Reconstruction era. Sheriff Glover was known for his commitment to community policing, banning of chokeholds and displaying officer’s names on their vehicles. He went on to serve as president of his alma mater, Edward Waters College.
Irving Heller, Miami-Dade and North Bay Village Police Departments
After serving in the United States Air Force, Irving Heller began his law enforcement career in 1958 with the Dade County Sheriff’s Office, now known as Miami-Dade Police Department. His commitment to community service fueled many successful community efforts, including the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and the Police Athletic League. He also co-founded MDPD’s Chaplaincy Program in 1997 to offer confidential support and guidance to the Department’s officers. Prior to his retirement, he was promoted to the rank of assistant director. In 2001, he went on to serve as the chief of the North Bay Village Police Department until his retirement in 2004.
Sidney R. Klein, Miami-Dade Sheriff’s Department, Clearwater Police Department
Sidney R. Klein began his law enforcement career in 1963 with the Miami-Dade Sheriff’s Department, after serving in the Navy for three years. In 1970, he joined the Lakewood Department of Public Safety in Colorado before moving back to Florida in 1981 to become chief of Clearwater Police Department. Chief Klein applied for and received the first federal grant to create a human trafficking task force, a program that has been duplicated all over the world. As chief, he distinguished himself with innovative programs such as the Clearwater Homeless Intervention Project, Hispanic Outreach Program and countless community policing initiatives.
Edward M. Spooner, Quincy PD, Gadsden Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Edward M. Spooner began his career as a patrol officer with the Tallahassee Police Department, before becoming director for the Quincy Department of Public Safety in 1979, at the age of only 29. Then at the age of 38, he became the youngest person elected to serve as president of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. He also served on the Florida Parole Commission and was chief deputy of the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office before coming to FDLE as the assistant special agent in charge over Investigations and Forensics.  He also served a short stint as Okaloosa County sheriff after removal of a corrupt sheriff and was appointed U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Florida by President Barack Obama.
John M. Spottswood, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
After serving in World War II, John M. Spottswood began his law enforcement career in Monroe County and was elected sheriff in 1952.   Active in the Florida Sheriffs Association, he helped establish the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch in Suwanee County.  One of his accomplishments while sheriff was his proposal for Florida’s first statewide law enforcement standards, which included standardizing the design of sheriff’s office uniforms and colors throughout the state. In 1963, he was elected to the Florida Senate, where he served for four terms.
The Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame was created by the 2014 Florida Legislature to recognize and honor law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of Florida’s citizens and visitors through their works, service and exemplary accomplishments. 
For Further Information Contact:
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

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