Partnerships, awareness help Martin County deputies connect with public
Officer in Washington latest to die on duty
5:49 PM, Dec 1, 2016
8:06 PM, Dec 1, 2016
STUART, Fla. - It’s been a deadly 24 hours for law enforcement officers. Gunmen shot at least four officers across Washington, Tennessee, and Arizona. The shootings come around the same time prosecutors cleared a Charlotte, North Carolina officer in the September shooting death of a man. So NewsChannel 5 spent a couple hours with a sheriff's deputy to see and talk about their days on the job.
Lt. Joe Kukuvka from the Martin County Sheriff's Office knew his afternoon could go in a million different directions after he was alerted to this message: “A white male is carrying a weapon, unknown if gun or knife.”
Someone called dispatch to report a man carrying a weapon in their neighborhood.
Kukuvka pulled into the neighborhood and recognized the man right away. With three other deputies around as back-up, the lieutenant started things off with a conversation.
“That respectful exchange, that's what we're always seeking and we just want people to have that from people out there,” Kukuvka said.
It turns out the man didn't have a weapon when deputies arrived.
Kukuvka said a level-headed approach helps him avoid problems.
“The hyper-vigilance never changes for us, no matter the circumstances,” he added.