TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Attorney General Pam Bondi today named Master Deputy Tim Liberatore of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office the Attorney General's 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Deputy Liberatore was joined by eight fellow officers from around the state at a ceremony recognizing them for their dedication to law enforcement and public safety.
“All of the nominees deserve recognition for their commitment to protecting others and selflessly serving their communities,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “It is an honor to name Master Deputy Tim Liberatore the 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Thanks to Master Deputy Liberatore’s dedication, a juvenile was saved from heartbreaking abuse.”
In 2012, Deputy Liberatore was conducting a security check when he observed a vehicle with an expired tag that had pulled into a business. Deputy Liberatore made contact with the suspect and noticed a small amount of blood on his clothing. Deputy Liberatore became more suspicious of the suspect, and he was able to convince the suspect to take him back to his residence.
While at the residence, Deputy Liberatore began questioning the juveniles at the residence, as well as neighbors. Deputy Liberatore's interview revealed that at least one of the juveniles had been sexually assaulted by the suspect. Deputy Liberatore received a full confession from the suspect, which revealed that the abuse had been occurring for years and would have continued had it not been for Deputy Liberatore's thoroughness. The suspect was later sentenced to more than two life terms in prison.
Each nominee for the Attorney General's award had previously been recognized as an “Officer of the Year” by a Florida law enforcement agency or organization that sponsors such a statewide award. Deputy Liberatore was nominated by the Florida Sheriffs Association. A selection committee appointed by the Attorney General considered the distinguished group of nominees from state agencies and organizations including the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association, the Florida Gang Investigators Association and the Florida Retail Federation.
Additional 2013 Award Nominees:
Sergeant Alvaro Feola and Trooper Robert Ivey, Florida Highway Patrol
Sergeant Sam Gereg, Tallahassee Police Department
Officer Lee Lawshe, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Officer Edward Messina, Department of Homeland Security, Enforcement and Removal Operations
Lieutenant David O’Dell, Florida State Fire Marshall, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, Northwest Region
Special Agent William Powell, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Orlando Regional Operations Center
Sergeant Richard Rossman, Broward County Sheriff’s Office