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Flags at half-staff for law enforcement deaths before Irma

Gov. Rick Scott has ordered flags at half-staff to honor Hardee County Sheriff’s Deputy Julie Ann Bridges and Florida Department of Corrections Sgt. Joseph Ossman.

The two were killed Sunday in a two-car head-on collision. Bridges was on her way home after helping at a local hurricane shelter, reports said. Ossman was headed to work at a state prison.

The AP reported that officials said the area was affected by wind and rain from Hurricane Irma when the crash happened, but the official cause was under investigation.

Scott directed the U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff at the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office, the Hardee Correctional Institution in Bowling Green, the Florida Department of Corrections headquarters in Tallahassee, the Hardee County Courthouse, and Wauchula City Hall from sunrise to sunset this Saturday.

“I am heartbroken to learn of the loss of these two individuals,” Scott said in a statement.

“Our law enforcement and correctional officers work every day to keep Floridians safe. It is because of their work we are able to live in a state where people can raise their families safely. My heart goes out to their families and the entire law enforcement and correctional officer community.”

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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