FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Each year, the Florida Sheriff’s Association chooses one officer who has shown bravery, service, and honor in the line of duty.
This year, the rules changed and two deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office were honored.
Sergeant Jeff Hewitt and his son Jared are sharing the award after being recognized for their work during the Eastpoint fires in 2018.
Sergeant Hewitt, now in his 16th year with FCSO, says he was off that day but got a heads up that he may get called in due to a fire north of Eastpoint from Captain Dewayne Coulter.
Jared Hewitt, who joined FCSO in 2017, says he was working with the narcotics division when he came in contact with Coulter in the field.
Both Hewitt’s responded to Buck Street for evacuations when a call came over the radio that a truck went into the ditch.
Not knowing where the other one was, the two men ended up meeting at the truck and helped pull a family out of the burning vehicle.
The entire family, including their cat, went home safely that night because of the Hewitt duo.
In July, both Sergeant and Jared Hewitt were honored as Florida Sheriffs Association’s Law Enforcement Officers of the Year.
This year marks only the third time since 1990 that the award has been given to multiple officers but the first for a father-son team to be honored.
“Do I deserve this award? Most definitely but every officer that puts the uniform on deserves an award,” Sgt. Hewitt said.
His son Jared says, he knows he reacted like anyone else would that day.
“Yeah it’s an honor to have but did I deserve it? Did I do anything I believe anyone else wouldn’t do? No. I believe everyone in our department would’ve done the same thing,” Jared Hewitt said.
Sheriff A.J. Smith also spoke with the association about his deputies.
“Sgt. Jeff Hewitt and Deputy Jared Hewitt easily could have remained on safe ground and not entered a life-threatening situation. I am proud to work alongside, not one, but two men who are deeply committed to protecting the people of Franklin County,” Smith said.
To see the video from the Florida Sheriff’s Association about the Hewitt men, click here.