Brevard County deputy takes own life, sheriff’s office says

Palm Bay police respond to deputy’s home

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Brevard County sheriff’s deputy died by suicide, officials said Friday, although few details have been released.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the death. News 6 has decided not to name the deputy.

[RELATED: ‘It’s been a tough year:’ Lake Mary police chief focuses on mental health as officers nationwide face added stress]

Palm Bay police reportedly responded to the deputy’s home Wednesday night.

According to Blue H.E.L.P., a website that tracks suicides among law enforcement and first responders, a combined 176 police officers, sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers reportedly died from suicide in 2020 in the U.S., with 157 such deaths recorded in 2021. There have been 67 so far this year, according to the group.

Blue H.E.L.P. provides useful resources such as hotlines, reading material on mitigating the effects of trauma and best guidelines on supporting your peers, teammates and yourself. Learn more here.

Also, 1st Help is a website that employs a short survey to match emergency personnel with healthcare services.

Dr. Kristin Wallace of Complete Family Consultants said she has provided counseling to members of the Brevard sheriff’s office.

“They’re being exposed to tragedy and ongoing trauma on a regular basis. Sometimes, multiple times in a shift,” she said of her clients who are first responders and law enforcement officers.

Evelyn Alvarenga said being neighbors with the deputy brought her family peace of mind.

She shared a story about a time she picked up her daughter at the bus stop by his house.

Alvarenga said she was racing her daughter when the deputy followed her.

“When I saw his reaction, I immediately stopped, said, ‘No, I’m just her mother,’” she remembered. “And he was like thumbs up, smiling. And I’m like, ‘Thank you so much.’ He made me feel safe.”

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.