In Memory of Detective Tom Breedlove
On Saturday, September 4, 2021, Detective Tom Breedlove died as a result of COVID19. Since the start of the pandemic, America has lost hundreds of officers to the virus. Breedlove died from the complications that arise when you contract the virus. The federal government understands the risk faced by first responders and has mandated that all officers who serve both receive the COVID19 vaccine as well as wear a mask whenever possible.
Detective Tommy Breedlove died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty. He had served his community in civil service as a law enforcement officer with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office for more than 33 years. Breedlove, age 54, proudly wore badge number 599 on his uniform. Detective Breedlove is the fourth officer with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to die in the line of duty in the department’s history.
Detective Breedlove began his career in law enforcement in 1988. After ten years with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office located in the Florida Keys, Breedlove moved to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in 1998. With the HCSO, Breedlove was first assigned to the Patrol Division.
Breedlove had a position in the Major Case Investigations. He had initiated and managed the agency’s Sexual Offender and Sexual Predator Monitoring Program since 2006. Detective Breedlove would track and monitor every sexual offender and predator in Hernando County. He spent many years relentless in his pursuit to protect children and to put offenders in jail.
Det. Breedlove was an active member of the Eden Baptist Church, where he offered his services for security and taught a Sunday school class. During his career, Breedlove was given 18 employee awards, commendations, and letters of appreciation from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and 33 awards when he served with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
Detective Breedlove worked in law enforcement for more than 33 years. His most recent position was with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The HCSO can be found along Central Florida’s west coast. The agency provides protection and law enforcement services to about 186,000 residents. Since 1980, the county has seen an increase in the population of near 318%. This growth has required the HCSO to increase with the area.
HCSO is committed to the residents of Hernando County. The department offers crime prevention, community programs, a Citizen’s program, ROAR, and they also participate in the Explorer program, which encourages youth to consider a career in law enforcement.
Detective Tom Breedlove leaves behind his wife and seven children. His children range in age from 12 to 22. The entire community has felt his family’s pain, as they, too, lost a protector and friend. Residents, extended family, and many law enforcement officers from surrounding areas will pull together to show full honors at Breedlove’s ceremony.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office shared news of the loss on social media. “Sheriff Al Nienhuis announces the Line of Duty Death of Detective Tommy Breedlove with profound sadness and a heavy heart. Detective Breedlove was recently hospitalized after contracting COVID-19. He succumbed to the illness late last night, 09-04-2021. Detective Breedlove’s love for law enforcement led him to yet another area where his legacy will live on. He helped mold the next generation of law enforcement professionals by being a well-respected, long-time instructor at a local law enforcement academy. We are in the process of planning a Line of Duty Death funeral service with full law enforcement honors. Funeral information will be provided as soon as possible. May he sleep now beneath the wings of St. Michael. Blessed are the peacekeepers.”