In Memory of Sergeant James LaRue
Florida Correctional Sergeant Dies from COVID
Florida officials announced the loss of a correctional officer as rates of COVID rise. On Friday, November 20, 2020, Sergeant James LaRue died from contracting coronavirus. He was 48 years old. Though unsure of how LaRue came into contact with the virus, Sgt James LaRue will be listed as a line of duty death. There is just no possible way to determine if he contracted the virus while on duty at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford.
Sgt. LaRue had served his community as a law enforcement officer for more than 21 years. He began his career in 1999 as a detention deputy trainee. He had earned the rank of Sergeant by 2010, and in 2017, LaRue was the recipient of the Sheriff’s Life-Saving Award. Prior to becoming a deputy, LaRue had served his country with the US Marines.
The virus has been lethal and widespread in correctional facilities across the country. In 2020, COVID19 is the most significant cause of line-of-duty deaths for law enforcement. More than 275 officers across the country have died from coronavirus. Florida faced enormous loss with the deaths of at least 12 officers. In correctional facilities, the virus is quick to spread due to a lack of social distancing and other safety protocols. Officers regularly come into contact with offenders, whether on patrol or corrections; many officers are putting their lives on the line each time they put on their badge and walk out the door.
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
Sgt. LaRue worked for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO). The SCSO is the primary law enforcement provider for Seminole County. The agency is responsible for all the unincorporated areas of the county. SCSO was founded in 1913 and currently has more than 1,100 officers. SCSO also maintains over 150 part-time officers. The department is responsible for providing safety to Seminole County residents but has other various duties. These duties include the management and maintenance of all detention facilities in the county. The department is a full-service agency that also provides security through the School Safety Division. This division of the SCSO covers 66 different schools and protects more than 76,000 students and educational staff.
Unexpected Losses Mount
Families across the globe are facing unexpected mounting losses. COVID19 has killed nearly 285,000 Americans. Sergeant James LaRue leaves behind his wife, two sons, stepson, and grandchildren. He comes from a large family with many extended cousins, nephews, and more. The community and other law enforcement officers will join the family in showing honor to Sgt. LaRue for the sacrifice he has made.
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma commented on the loss of Sgt. LaRue. “Sgt. LaRue was a beloved member of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and served a majority of his career working the B-Pod. He was loved by his colleagues, and he was also very popular among JEPCF inmates, working closely with those inmates suffering from mental health issues.”
Sgt. LaRue’s wife, Nay, wrote the following message to her husband. “The love you gave and made me feel was one of a kind. I thank GOD for bringing you into my life and blessing us to have baby James Jordan together. I know how much you wanted him, and I’m very thankful that you and baby James Jordan got to spend his first year together. I promise you that I will continue to tell our boy all the great things you’ve done, how great of a father you were to him, how proud you were having our son in your arms, and how much you loved him. Your commitment and dedication to our family meant the world to me.”