2019 Officer of the Year
Sergeant Michael Ward
Plant City Police Department
Fifteen years ago Sergeant Ward (then Officer Ward) responded to a house with reported domestic problems. During the investigation Sergeant Ward met the victim, a young woman who was the daughter of a drug addict. Due to the fathers addiction problems the young woman had given up and was on the verge of going down a dark path in her life due to the circumstances at home.
Recognizing the agonizing pain the young woman was going through Sergeant Ward went beyond his duties and presented the young woman with a new path of hope. He provided the compassion and guidance during their interaction that would define the rest of her life. During this brief time and unbeknownst to Sergeant Ward, this interaction changed the life of this young woman.
After that night Sergeant Ward never had contact with the young woman again. Recently (fifteen years after the encounter) the young woman reached out through social media. She wanted to thank Sergeant Ward for his compassion and guidance that night fifteen years ago. Without his help she most definitely would not be living the life she is today. The young woman explained that due to Sergeant Ward’s compassion she went on from that night and started a loving family. Along with her family she was also able to start a prominent business venture that is well known in Plant City.
Sergeant Michael Ward has been with the Plant City Police Department for sixteen years. During his time at the police department Sergeant Ward has held numerous roles. During his tenure he has been assigned as a patrol officer, field training officer, detective and now currently as a patrol shift sergeant. Sergeant Ward was also a proud member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve for 24 years and retired as a Gunners Mate Chief Petty Officer. Sergeant is married to his wife Kelly and they have daughter, Morgan.