2014 Law Enforcement Deputyof the Year

Deputy Philip Merkle

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Deputyof the Year

DeputyPhilip Merkle

DeputyPhillip Merkle, has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2003 and is assigned to patrol District IV in Hillsborough CounTampa Police Department.

Last June, DeputyMerkle was traveling south on Interstate 75 beside a flatbed tractor-trailer truck hauling a heavy bulldozer. The truck veered off the roadway, crashed through a retaining wall, and fell more than 70-feet in the shallow waters of the Alafia River. DeputyMerkle called for assistance and immediately ran to the shore, wading through swampy marsh toward the truck. For more than 100-yards he moved through the tall grass while waist deep in mud.  The conditions were so bad that people on the bridge had to yell directions to guide him to the truck. When he finally reached the truck, he found the driver had sustained serious lacerations and was bleeding heavily. He used a shirt to slow the bleeding, and then helped the driver from the crashed truck. The two began moving back across the marsh toward the shoreline.   DeputyMerkle then flagged down a boater who took them to the Gibsonton boat ramp where paramedics took over care.

Throughout 2013 DeputyMerkle demonstrated initiative and conducted investigations that resulted in suspects being charged in separate cases involving the internal theft of metals, tires and rims throughout the south counTampa Police Department.

In both cases DeputyMerkle went above and beyond his duties, applying a number of resources to acquire evidence and key out the suspects. Overall the two cases resulted in more than $100,000 in losses for their victims.

DeputyMerkle is regarded as a hard worker, dedicated to his profession and the citizens he serves.