Officer Killed In Florida

A deputy sheriff was killed in in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last Thursday (8-19), and another was shot by a man who had previously threatened to “hunt down” police after they raided his home and hauled away his partner and a stash of child porn, according to the Miami Hearld. The deputies worked for the Broward County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the article, a bullet tore through the vest of Detective Todd Fatta’s protective vest, striking him in the chest. Fatta was 33 years old. Sergeant Angelo Cedeno, 36, was a in stable condition after being shot in the hand and the shoulder.

The suspected shooter is Kenneth Wilk, 42. The officers were part of a task force designed to patrol the Internet, searching for pedophiles and pornographers. This day, the officers were there to serve a search warrant at the home where convicted pedophile Kelly Ray Jones, 39, lived. According to the Hearld, both Wilk and Jones are registered sex offenders.

This incident underscores the seriousness of illegal Internet pornography. There are those who would have you believe that this is a “victimless” crime. I suspect the child victims and Detective Fatta’s family would take exception to that.

Internet access, especially broadband access, has exploded the problems associated with child porn and child molesters and predators posing to entrap children into their sick business. The task of tracking these predators is difficult and costly. Fortunately, the FBI has developed a working partnership with state and local law enforcement officials to help track molesters and predators and stop their activities. Sergeant Ted Berg is our representative on our state task force. He has worked with the Minnesota task force to successfully track down and arrest a number of individuals in Northfield involved in child porn.

This incident underscores again the unpredictable nature of policing.

Detective Fatta joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 1995. He served in the U.S. Airforce. He was described by associates as “someone who would do anything for a friend.”

For the Miami Herald bio on Detective Fatta, click here.

Detective Fatta was working on the most important kind of police work there is…protecting children. I didn’t know Detective Fatta, but I mourn his loss. There is one less champion for our children today.

To view the complete Miami Herald article, click here. To visit the Broward County Sheriff’s Memorial Page, click here.

About Gary Smith

Chief Smith has served over 31 years in the criminal justice field. He is currently a consultant assisting public and private organizations better establish community goals and ethical conduct with the members of their organizations. Chief Smith serves as a facilitator, lecturer, professor and other capacities both inside and outside the criminal justice field.
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