Grady Judd calls slain deputy ’embodiment’ of US law enforcement

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 21-year-old father was killed on the front lines Tuesday morning.

“When people look at this young man, he’s the epitome of American law enforcement,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Deputy Blane Lane aspired to one day fill the shoes of Sheriff Grady Judd.

“You see a young man, but I see a co-worker who is younger than my children – it’s like losing one of your children,” Sheriff Judd said.

This is unimaginable heartbreak for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Judd said Deputy Lane graduated from Mulberry High School.

Lane entered the police academy two years ago. He was then sworn in as a detention deputy in May 2021. Eight and a half months ago, Lane was transferred to patrol as a deputy.

“This young man was playing every day, every minute of every day,” Judd said. “He was living his dream and he was certainly an extremely talented MP.”

According to Judd, Deputy Lane was killed in a shootout after being accidentally hit by a bullet from another deputy. Judd said Lane did exactly what he was taught to do.

“He was one of the most enthusiastic young men I have ever met,” said Justin Stewart, senior pastor of Together Church in Lakeland. “He just had a sharp wit about him. He was made for this job. So, we really can’t say enough about him.

Pastor Stewart of the Lane family said the adjunct lane was made for this job.

“He was the epitome of a perfect law enforcement officer,” Stewart said. “He will be missed for sure.”

The authorities are still piecing it all together.

Deputy Lane’s funeral is scheduled for next week.

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