The passing of Clay County Deputy Ben Zirbel following Sunday's crash on Blanding Boulevard is the ninth officer who died in the line of duty in the agency's history. Four were shot and killed, one other was died after a traffic accident and three died of medical complications while on duty.
Detective David White
Detective White was shot and killed during a drug investigation on February 16, 2012. Just 35 years old at the time of his death, he was posthumously named our agency’s 2011 Deputy of the Year for his work to reduce the illegal pill trade in Clay County and the newly-constructed Clay County Law Enforcement Memorial was renamed the Detective David A. White Memorial Headquarters in May 2013.
Sgt. Kenneth “Eddie” Hayes
Sgt. Hayes, 39, died on May 26, 2002, as a result of a heart attack.
Deputy Wilson Walker
Deputy Walker died on December 17, 1994, as a result of medical complications caused by materials used during his work as an evidence technician.
Auxiliary Deputy Arthur Caton
Auxiliary Dep. Caton died on July 15, 1979, as a result of a heart attack suffered while working a traffic detail in Orange Park.
Sgt. Richard Watkins
Sgt. Watkins died on May 3, 1976, after responding to an attempted suicide call. A fatal crash occurred while he was following an ambulance in route to the hospital.
Sheriff Theodore Cherry
Sheriff Cherry served from 1911 until his death on July 6, 1913. A suspect shot and killed him during an interview.
Sheriff Charles Wilson
Sheriff Wilson served from 1905 until his death on July 10, 1906. A suspect shot and killed him during an arrest attempt aboard a train.
Sheriff Josephus Peeler
Sheriff Peeler served from 1889 until his death on May 10, 1894. He was shot while trying to stop an argument between two men at a train station.