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Former Quincy police officer, Gadsden deputy inducted into the Florida Law Enforcement Officer’s Hall of Fame

Edward Spooner joins four other inductees for 2021 hall of fame ceremony

On Saturday, May 15, several current and former law enforcement officers from around the State of Florida were honored during an induction ceremony to the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame.

Among the honored individuals was Edward Spooner, a former deputy with the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office and police officer with the Quincy Police Department.

The induction ceremony was presided over by Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen.

While Spooner, and four other individuals, were honored as the 2021 inductees, the ceremony also honored inductees from 2020, as a ceremony was not held last year due to COVID-19. 

For the ceremony, several state leaders – such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried – made statements in support of law enforcement.

“While some want to ‘defund the police’ in other parts of the country, in Florida, we unapologetically support our law enforcement community,” said Governor DeSantis.

“I could not be more grateful for the 2020 and 2021 Florida Law Enforcement Hall of Fame inductees for their commitment to serve and protect our state,” said Attorney General Moody. “Each of these officers has played a pivotal, historic role in shaping and advancing Florida law enforcement. Our state is stronger and safer because they answered the call to serve.”

“I’m proud to honor and support these heroes who selflessly run toward danger to protect our communities every day,” said Patronis. “I applaud them for their service and sacrifice to Floridians and extend my sincerest gratitude as they receive this well-deserved recognition.”

“Florida’s law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to serve our communities and citizens,” Commissioner Fried. “From modernization and innovation, to leadership and diversity, to human trafficking and disaster response, the 2020 and 2021 inductees of the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame exemplify service before self while protectingthe public.”

The 2020 inductees included: Lawrence W. Crow Jr. with the Lakeland Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office; James M. Gabbard, with the West Palm Beach and Vero Beach Police Departments; William Liquori, with the Orlando and Altamonte Springs Police Departments; William “Jay” Romine, with the Holmes Beach Police Department; and Donna Uzzell, with the Tallahassee Police Department and Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Five law enforcement officers from around the state were recently honored as inductees into the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame, including one former Gadsden County law officer, Edward Spooner. Pictured, from left to right, are: Robert Spottswood (son of John Spottswood), Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen, Edward Spooner, Kelly Klein (wife of Sidney Klein), Irving Heller, and Nathaniel Glover

In addition to Spooner, the 2021 inductees included: Nathaniel Glover, with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; Irving Heller, with the Miami-Dade and North Bay Village Police Departments; Sidney R. Klein, with the Miami-Dade Sheriff’s Department and Clearwater Police Department; and John M. Spottswood, with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Edward M. Spooner began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with the Tallahassee Police Department before becoming the director of the Quincy Department of Public Safety in 1979, at the age of only 29.

Then at the age of 38, Spooner became the youngest person elected to serve as president of the Florida Police Chiefs Association.

He also served on the Florida Parole Commission and was chief deputy of the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office before coming to Florida Department of Law Enforcement as the assistant special agent in charge over Investigations and Forensics.

Spooner also served a short term as the Okaloosa County sheriff after removal of a corrupt sheriff and was later appointed as the United States Marshal for the Northern District of Florida by President Barack Obama.

Ashley Hunter –
Photo Courtesy of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement