In Memory of Deputy First Class Douglas Lynn Clark
Florida has lost a record number of law enforcement officers in 2021. These officers died as a result of contracting COVID19 while on the job. The pandemic has been the reason for the sharp incline in line of duty deaths over the past two years. Quickly, COVID19 has risen to become the number one killer of law enforcement officers in the country.
On August 25, 2021, Deputy First Class Douglas Lynn Clark, age 67, died due to contracting the virus while on the job. Many detention officers and law enforcement officers have contracted the virus while working. Jails, prisons, and other institutions were not designed to allow for social distancing. Police work with the public, and the occupation is one of those with the highest risk for contracting the virus. Mandates were put into place to allow these deaths the line-of-duty status to give full financial benefits to those left behind.
Deputy Clark served the residents of Manatee County as a sworn deputy for over 13 years. Additionally, Clark had 24 years in service, total, as a law enforcement officer. Before working at Manatee County, Deputy Clark served with the Hardee Correctional Institution.
Clark was a leader to his coworkers and others in the community. He enjoyed making a difference in the lives of residents. He was also known as a devoted family man. He had a large family, and his many grandchildren were his pride and joy. Clark is the third officer in Manatee County’s history to have died in the line of duty.
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
Deputy Clark lost his life working for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Located in Bradenton, Florida, the MCSO is a fully accredited law enforcement agency. Like most departments, the sheriff’s office is responsible for patrols, investigations, jail management, prisoner transport, civil service, and court security.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is doing exceptionally well concerning resident outreach. The agency has many programs that include residents in helping the officers to solve crime. One such program is the home security camera registry. Residents can sign up to have their home security cameras and their footage available to officers who may need the footage to solve a crime in the area. Victim support programs are also offered to residents from the MCSO.
Jurisdiction of the MCSO covers 893 square miles, including 150 square miles of waterways and coastline. The agency has a well-trained water patrol unit as well as a fantastic search and rescue team. Currently, the MCSO provides services to over 400,000 residents.
Deputy First Class Douglas Lynn Clark leaves behind his wife, six children, eleven grandchildren, and a father. The Clark family will need the love and support of their friends and neighbors to help them during this difficult time in their lives. Clark will be honored during his service by community Honor Guards who volunteer their time to provide ceremonies for officers’ families to feel the complete gratitude of the community for their loss.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office posted the news of its loss online in a Facebook post. “It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the passing of Deputy Douglas Clark, who, after nearly two weeks in a hospital, has lost his fight with COVID-19. He was 67. Deputy Clark joined the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in February of 2008 and served in the Corrections Bureau for 13 years, most recently overseeing inmate work projects in the jail’s Road Gang Unit. Doug was often referred to as a hard worker who tried to approach each day with a positive attitude. He will be missed.”
Manatee Sheriff Rick Wells added to the post. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of Deputy Clark. I ask that you please keep his family, friends, and the entire MCSO family in your thoughts and prayers.”