DeLand sergeant awarded Medal of Valor for saving child struggling to swim

Sgt. Tony Tagle was off duty in New Smyrna Beach when he noticed the children

A DeLand police officer received an award for rescuing a child struggling to swim near the New Smyrna Beach Jetty in April

DELAND, Fla. – A DeLand Police Department sergeant received two awards for rescuing a child struggling to swim near the New Smyrna Beach jetty in April.

Sgt. Tony Tagle was awarded the department’s Medal of Valor and the Lifesaving Award Tuesday. The Medal of Valor is the department’s second-highest honor, according to a news release.

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Tagle was fishing off the jetty while off duty when he saw two young children struggling to swim. He jumped in and saved one child while another beachgoer was helping the second child.

DeLand Chief of Police Jason Umberger presented the awards Tuesday and said that Tagle “showed exceptional courage while saving a life.”

“It shows that we have public servants that are willing to risk their lives for others even when they are off-duty,” Umberger said.


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