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1996 NRA Officer Of The Year Award Winner

Sheriff Kevin Beary, Orange County (FL) Sheriff's Office

The National Rifle Association is proud to announce the selection of Sheriff Kevin Beary as the 1996 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. This award was presented at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Seattle, Wash., on May 2, 1997, recognizing Beary's exemplary service to his community.

"Sheriff Beary has compiled an outstanding record of public service and the NRA is proud to award him our highest honor for law enforcement officers serving our country," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

An NRA Life Member, Sheriff Beary was elected to office in 1992 and commands one of the largest sheriff's departments in the nation. His career has been characterized by close cooperation with local community leaders to develop innovative programs aimed at preventing crime including: a Felony Squad to target career criminals; a Children's Safety Village to help children learn about safety in a wide variety of situations; a Gang Enforcement Unit to punish and prevent gang violence; a Domestic Violence Squad to protect women and families; the Gang Resistance Education and Training program (GREAT) to educate teens about gang violence; and a cost-recovery program that holds criminals responsible for the cost of investigating their crime.

Sheriff Beary has also revitalized and expanded "Neighborhood Watch" programs, implemented a Tourist Oriented Policing Division and placed more than 100 new deputies on the streets of Orange County. Under his direction, several of the units in the Orange County Sheriff's Office have been recognized for excellence at both the state and national levels. A strong believer in the rights of citizens to protect their homes and families, Sheriff Beary is a leading supporter of "shall issue" concealed carry permits for civilians. During his tenure, the sheriff's department has launched a comprehensive firearm training program for citizens interested in owning a firearm, and he has opened the department range facilities to civilian groups.

"Sheriff Beary demands the highest standards of professionalism from his employees, has zero tolerance of criminals and is a leader in the field of citizen involvement in crime control," said NRA President Marion P. Hammer. "He serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when the NRA, law enforcement, the business community, and ordinary citizens all work together."

Sheriff Beary is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and the FBI National Executive Institute, and he is an honor graduate of the FBI National Academy. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Salvation Army, the Children's Safety Village, CrimeLine, Seminole Community College, Central Florida National Safety Council and the Tangelo Park Project. His dedication to the community has been recognized by the Citrus Sports Foundation, the Military Order of World Wars, and the Central Florida Boy Scouts of America.

The NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award was established in 1993 and recognizes exceptional Valor, Public Service, or Dedication to the Principles of our Constitutional Heritage.

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