VERO BEACH, Fla. — In 2001, seven years before he would be elected Sheriff of Indian River County, Deryl Lohr was a captain with the Florida Highway Patrol. The captains of the district would receive new troopers probably twice a year. That August, an Air Force veteran named Joseph Bullock joined his ranks.
“Fast learner, smart young man for sure. I vividly recall when Trooper Bullock and other classmates showed up at Fort Pierce district, immediately recognized his sense and understanding of military, law enforcement life," said Sheriff Deryl Lohr.
The sheriff knew early on that Bullock was someone who could be counted on at a moment's notice.
“In 2004-05 through the hurricanes, I could depend on Trooper Bullock for almost any need. We would dispatch him to other Troops throughout the state during other disasters. He was that guy, I could say Joe I need you take care of something and he would do it," said Sheriff Lohr.
Trooper Bullock, who was shot and killed last week along I-95 in Martin County after pulling over to help a stranded motorist, spent nearly 20 years on the Treasure Coast, despite opportunities to move closer to family.
“I recall when Trooper Bullock bought his first home in Port St. Lucie, how excited he was to come in and tell me about it," said Lohr. "He simply enjoyed working the streets of Martin and St. Lucie counties and training some of the younger troopers.”
Lohr said he plans to meet with Bullock's family before the funeral Thursday to pay his respects in person and let them know what he meant to his community.