1950 - 2010


Died in the Line of Duty

Ledger,Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010 -
1950 - 2010

Wesley Richard Whitmore, Jr. was 60 years of age.
 Wesley was born in Syracuse, N.Y. on Feb. 19, 1950, and came to Polk County from Germany. He was a retired Major in the US Air Force having served 26 years as the Chief of Air Traffic Control Operations. After retirement he joined the Polk County Sheriff's Office where he has worked the last 15 years and was serving as a Sergeant when he died in the line of duty. He was a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Lakeland and a life time member of the VFW and the American Legion.
 He is preceded in death by his father.
 He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sherry; 3 sons, Gary, Kevin and Wesley. a daughter Hillary and his mother, Gloria , a sister, Jeanette. 10 grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Darya and several nieces and nephews.
 The family recieved friends on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010 at Oak Ridge Funeral Care, 2425 Havendale Blvd., Winter Haven.
 A Funeral Mass was held on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 at St. Josephs Catholic Church 532 Ave., M, NW, Winter Haven.

 Whitmore became a detention deputy with the Polk County Sheriff's Office in 1995, and then transferred to deputy sheriff in 1998. He was promoted to sergeant in 2008, and his most recent assignment was patrol in the Winter Haven area.  
 As a detective in 2006, Whitmore helped in the manhunt for Angilo Freeland, who shot and killed Polk Deputy Vernon "Matt" Williams and his K-9 partner, Diogi after a traffic stop near Lakeland. Freeland was later found, shot and killed by a SWAT team.

 Sergeant Wesley Whitmore was struck and killed by a vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store in Winter Haven.
 The elderly driver of an an SUV traveling on an adjacent roadway lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle crashed through a metal barrier, struck a woman and business, then traveled through a parking lot and struck Sergeant Whitmore's patrol car. The impact pushed the patrol car into the sergeant, who had just exited it.

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