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Feb 23, 2023

PCSO mourning the loss of a detention deputy who died in an off-duty crash

Media Contact: Carrie Horstman, Administrator

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of 22-year-old Drake Sawyer Perry, who died in a vehicle crash while off-duty on February 22, 2023, on State Road 33 south of Groveland, in Lake County, Florida. Drake was hired as a detention deputy in September 2022, and was sworn in during an oath of office ceremony on December 13, 2022. He was assigned to the South County Jail in Frostproof. He was dual-certified in detention and law enforcement.

Drake lived in Ocoee, and graduated from Olympia High School in Orlando. He attended the Polk State College Kenneth C. Thompson Institute for Public Safety (KCTIPS) in Winter Haven, and was sponsored in the academy by PCSO in the dual enrollment class (law enforcement and detention certified). He was the class commander for both academies, and recognized as a “Top Gun,” being the most proficient shooter in his class. He is survived by his father, brother, and grandmother.

We are all grieving at the loss of this young deputy who was just starting out in his career. Deputy Perry was an outstanding cadet in the academy, and his classmates and coworkers remember him as always smiling, always positive, and a team player who was always helping others. He was a natural born leader, and aspired to be on the SWAT team. He will be greatly missed. Please keep his family in your prayers.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the traffic crash. We will have more information regarding funeral arrangements for Deputy Perry at a later date.