Community pays tribute to fallen Okaloosa deputy

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Myers was remembered today as an individual who touched thousands of lives in countless positive ways in the decades he wore a badge.

An estimated 2,000 people streamed into the Raider Arena at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville today to pay tribute to Deputy Bill Myers, a man who was loved, admired, and respected for a dedication to protecting the innocent combined with a naturally caring, compassionate, and giving nature. Distinguished guests included Governor Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“This community, this state, is here for you,” said Sheriff Ashley. “We are here to memorialize Bill’s sacrifice”.

Deputy Myers was also known for his quick wit and laughter. Good friend and fellow Deputy Lt. Fred Lithgow also shared lighter moments, to highlight that element of Deputy Myers’ character that made him so special to those inside and outside the Sheriff’s Office.

“We were brothers under the badge,” said. Lt. Lithgow.

Joining the crowd, first responders from across Florida and the Southeast traveled to Okaloosa County to also pay their respects to Deputy Myers, who was killed in the line of duty while serving a domestic violence injunction in Shalimar Sept. 22.

The Miami Dade Police Department alone sent some forty Honor Guard members to the service, while firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics from across the region also joined their law enforcement counterparts in honoring Deputy Myers’ and his family’s sacrifice.

The U.S. Honor Flag was also on display at the event. The Flag travels around the United States to recognize American’s first responder and military heroes.

Fire departments hung massive American flags from trucks located near the College and near the foot of the Brooks Bridge on Okaloosa Island, close to where the miles long funeral procession ended.

Despite heavy rains from a tropical low in the Gulf of Mexico, many citizens lined portions of the motor vehicle processional as it made its way to the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk, determined to pay their final respects to the fallen deputy.


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