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Florida Sheriffs Association Statement on Murder of Highlands County Deputy William Gentry

May 07, 2018

We are devastated by the news that Deputy William Gentry has died after being shot last night while on duty serving his community.  Deputy Gentry has honorably served the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office for more than 9 years, currently serving as a field training officer whose contributions will forever have an impact on the agency.

We stand with Deputy Gentry, his family, his friends, and with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office during this tragic time. We are heartbroken at this reminder that law enforcement put their lives on the line every moment they are on duty for their fellow citizens. This attack is a terrible demonstration that evil lurks, and that life is meaningless to some. The Sheriffs of Florida have offered our resources to all first responders who are diligently and respectfully working on this tragedy in Highlands county, and who are investigating and bringing justice for our deputy and his family.

We thank all the counties and Sheriffs who have stepped up to help, and the community for supporting their beloved Highlands County Sheriff’s Office. For updates and for ways to help Deputy Gentry’s family, please visit the official Twitter page for Highlands County at

-Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association


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The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has steadfastly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit [url=][/url].