The Fallen Heroes of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office
Throughout the years, members of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office have served the community with professionalism and bravery. Seven members of the Sheriff's Office, including a K-9, have been killed in the line of duty. Their names are inscribed on a memorial stone located in front of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office headquarters at 4700 West Midway Road in Fort Pierce. This memorial is meant to ensure that their ultimate sacrifice is remembered for generations to come.
"IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO SO UNSELFISHLY GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE LINE OF DUTY ON BEHALF OF THE CITIZENS OF ST. LUCIE COUNTY"
Photo by Chris Matula, Palm Beach Post
The May 11, 2009 memorial service featured remarks by St. Lucie County Commission Chairwoman Paula Lewis. Also pictured, left to right: St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain David Thompson, Sheriff Ken J. Mascara and Chief Deputy Garry R. Wilson
These are the dedicated members of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Sgt. Gary Morales joined the Sheriff's Office in October 2000. His assignments included Uniform Patrol, the School Resource Unit, the SWAT Team (in which he was lead sniper), the Special Investigations Unit and the Training Unit.
In January 2013 he was promoted to Sergeant and was assigned to Uniform Patrol. The morning of February 28, 2013, he made a traffic stop on a suspect just south of Fort Pierce following a brief pursuit. Before Sgt. Morales could get out of his car, the suspect fatally shot Sgt. Morales.
The Sheriff's Office's training facility was renamed the "Sgt. Gary Morales Training Complex" to honor his memory and his passion for training.
Master Deputy Joseph S. Hover joined the Sheriff’s Office in September 1981. He was a 24-year veteran with the Sheriff’s Office who had a vast and distinguished career including numerous awards and citations.
He worked with road patrol, Canine Unit, the detective division, and lastly, the School Resource Deputy Unit.
During defensive tactics training, Master Deputy Hover was injured and later died as a result of complications from surgery.
His death occurred October 8, 2005.
He is survived by his wife, daughter, and two grandchildren.
K-9 Vasko died on June 25, 2004 from gunshot wounds he received while he and his partner were apprehending a kidnapping and carjacking suspect.
Master Deputy Steve Roberts was a fourteen-year veteran of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, spending many of those years riding a motorcycle assigned to the Traffic Unit.
He was a family man and an avid horseman, serving as a member of the Sheriff’s Posse.
On February 11, 1999, while en route to a traffic accident on North 25th street, Master Deputy Roberts’ motorcycle was struck by another motorist, causing him to sustain critical injuries. He spent nearly a month in intensive care before succumbing to his injuries on March 3, 1999. He was 38 years old.
The Sheriff’s Office administrative center on Midway Road was renamed and dedicated as “The Steve Roberts Building” in memory of his commitment.
Sgt. Harold F. Holerger joined the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in 1963.
He had a distinguished career with the agency, and retired in 1981.
Shortly after his retirement, he took a part-time position as a school crossing guard.
On the morning of August 26, 1985, Sgt. Holerger was directing traffic on Angle Road at the entrance to Westwood High School, when he was struck and killed by a motor vehicle.
His commitment lives on with the Sheriff’s Office firearms training range that bears “Pappy” Holerger’s name.
William Robert Monroe was 41 when he became the fourth Sheriff of St. Lucie County in 1920. Monroe had been a deputy sheriff for some time, and served as Chief Deputy to Sheriff Bill Jones.
Sheriff Monroe had a jurisdiction encompassing much of what we now know as Indian River and Martin counties.
Around 4 a.m. on March 25, 1921, about one mile north of St John’s Island, deputies seized a cabin cruiser loaded with 200 cases of illegal liquor. Three men were arrested, and Sheriff Monroe was called to join them at the Winter Beach dock.
As the Sheriff piloted the boat down the Indian River nearing Fort Pierce, the boat exploded, killing him instantly and injuring two other deputies. The sheriff was 42 years old, leaving a wife and four young children.
Daniel S. Carlton was 35 when he became the second Sheriff of St. Lucie County. Previously, he had served as city marshal of Fort Pierce when it was incorporated in 1901. He became Sheriff in 1907 and served until his death, May 22, 1915.
Sheriff Carlton was remembered as a fearless and fair man. When he was Sheriff, the county jail was located at his home in Fort Pierce.
Sheriff Carlton was involved in a shootout in the middle of the business district of Fort Pierce and was fatally wounded. Sheriff Carlton was taken to Dr. H.D. Clark’s office where he later died.
Dan Carlton was the first member of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office to be killed in the line of duty.
By Sgt. George Hahn, L.A.P.D.
I never dreamed it would be me
My name for all eternity
Recorded here at this hallowed place
Alas, my name, no more my face
"In the line of duty" I hear them say
My family now the price will pay
My folded flag stained with their tears
We only had those few short years
The badge no longer on my chest
I sleep now in eternal rest
My sword I pass to those behind
And pray they keep this thought in mind
I never dreamed it would be me
And with heavy heart and bended knee
I ask for all here from the past
Dear God, let my name be last
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