TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today presented a Back the Blue Award to a St. Lucie County Deputy for his dedication in tracking down missing individuals, many of whom are vulnerable citizens that have disabilities. Deputy Benjamin DeBlieck serves as co-manager of Project LOST—Locating Our Survivors Timely. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office recently started the program that works with law enforcement and other agencies that specialize in neurocognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia and more. Deputy DeBlieck’s service to the program and the Sheriff’s office is crucial and has resulted in more than a dozen successful search and rescues.
Earlier this year, Deputy DeBlieck participated in a rescue call involving a senior lost on foot. The Deputy was off-duty at the time of the call but overheard the message on the radio and instantly stepped in to assist in the search. Deputy DeBlieck’s participation in the search was especially significant, as the Ft. Pierce Police Department received the first call and did not have a preventative program in place similar to Project LOST. The Deputy immediately changed into his gear and used a receiver that transmits wristbands emitting radio signals with a range of approximately one mile—fortunately, the senior received a wristband prior to the search. The Deputy headed towards a residence emitting a signal and searched a block until finding the lost senior in the back of an unknown vehicle.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Not only was Deputy DeBlieck off duty at the time of this critical search, he also helped another law enforcement agency rescue a senior woman who could have been seriously hurt or taken advantage of. Timing is so critical in these types of situations, and Deputy DeBlieck’s immediate reaction and expertise proved life-saving. Thank you, Deputy DeBlieck, for your thoroughness and constant dedication to the citizens you serve.”
Attorney General Moody presented the Back the Blue Award today at the Florida Cabinet meeting and surprised Deputy DeBlieck with the award while he was speaking about saving the senior to the Governor and fellow Cabinet members. Deputy DeBlieck has served SLCSO for 13 years and currently serves as the unit trainer for the K-9 unit.