It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that Sheriff Gregory Tony announced the passing of veteran Deputy Shannon Bennett, who died from complications related to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The 39-year-old deputy, who worked at the Broward Sheriff’s Office for almost 13 years, died late Friday night, April 3. Deputy Bennett left work early on March 23, because he was not feeling well. The next day, he went to the hospital and was tested for COVID-19. On March 27, his test came back positive. Deputy Bennett’s passing is the first COVID-19 death for BSO and believed to be the first line-of-duty COVID-19 death in Florida.
A graduate of Deerfield Beach High School, Deputy Bennett joined BSO on June 6, 2007 as a detention deputy. Due to a reorganization, he became a detention technician in September 2010. After becoming cross certified, Deputy Bennett was transferred to the Department of Law Enforcement as a road patrol deputy in Pompano Beach in August 2011. The following year, he returned to the position of a detention deputy.
In September 2013, he was reassigned to the Department of Law Enforcement and served as a road patrol deputy for almost six years in Lauderdale Lakes. In January 2019, Deputy Bennett was assigned to the BSO Deerfield Beach District as a school resource officer at Deerfield Beach Elementary School.
Sheriff Tony had the opportunity to work directly with Deputy Bennett and described him as a fine deputy, consummate professional and praised his commitment to help bridge the gap between the LGBTQ and law enforcement communities. “I ask that you keep Shannon’s family members in your prayers, but keep Shannon within your heart,” Sheriff Tony said. “His legacy will be carried on in our performance.”
He added Deputy Bennett’s death has left BSO shaken, but not broken, and he resolved that united we will persevere through the dark days ahead.
Deputy Bennett is survived by his fiancé, Jonathan Frey; his mother, Barbara Bennett and his brother, Darren Bennett, who worked for ten years in BSO’s Department of Detention before leaving BSO in 2013 to work in the ministry at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Darren is currently a campus pastor for Calvary Chapel North Miami.