Nine officers who died on job in 2006 honored at service

Published May 8, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across Florida, some riding motorcycles or horses, joined Gov. Charlie Crist and other officials to honor 15 fallen comrades Monday during the state's 25th annual memorial service.

The names of nine officers who died in the line of duty in 2006 and six from previous years were added to the Florida Law Enforcement Memorial on the Capitol grounds.

They bring the total to 666, dating at least to 1869, including state, federal, county, city, campus and tribal officers. Dates and other details on eight of the fallen officers, though, are missing.

"The honor and the valor and service and the perseverance of the men and women we honor today can never truly be measured, " Crist said.

The Key West Police Rifle Team fired three volleys, a bagpipe band played Amazing Grace, butterflies were released and Crist greeted families of the deceased officers with hugs and handshakes.

"They died as they lived - committed to duty, " said James Preston, Florida lodge president of the Fraternal Order of Police, which sponsors the event.

Those honored included Lake County Sheriff Chris Daniels, who was killed last year during a charity school bus race at Daytona Beach. Daniels was run over by his own bus and another one when he fell out after a collision.

Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne, who attended the service, lost two deputies last year. Ryan Seguin was hit by a car on Interstate 595 while he was standing outside another vehicle he had pulled over. Brian Tephford was fatally shot during another traffic stop.

The other 2006 deaths:

- Polk County sheriff's Deputy Matt Williams, shot to death by a gunman who had fled authorities after a traffic stop.

- Justice Department Special Agent William "Buddy" Sentner, fatally shot when he tried to arrest six guards in a sex-for-contraband scandal at a federal prison for women in Tallahassee.

- Lee County sheriff's Deputy Margena Nunez, killed when a pickup smashed into her patrol car while she was diverting traffic around another fatal crash.

- Tampa police Detective Juan Serrano, killed when a hit-and-run driver struck his vehicle.

- Orange County sheriff's Deputy Michael Callin, fatally injured when struck while on foot by a hit-and-run driver he tried to stop for speeding.

- Key West police Detective John Michael Piskator, suffered a fatal heart attack while participating in physical fitness training.