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Deputy Sheriff

Explorer Post Advisor of the Year

2015 Explorer Post Advisor of the Year

Master Deputy James Cole

Orange County, Florida


During Master Deputy Cole’s 32 years with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, he has diligently worked to make a difference in the lives of the citizens of Orange County. His career with the sheriff’s office began in 1980 as a reserve deputy. In 1995, he was hired as a full time deputy sheriff. In 2010, he became the senior advisor for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 2061

Master Deputy Cole visits schools, sharing information about the explorer program, distributing flyers for upcoming events and handing out brochures on how to become an explorer. In the past year, he has coordinated over 125 prospective explorer interviews. 

Master Deputy Cole holds meetings and training sessions twice a month consisting of two hours of classroom instruction and practical hands-on training.  Additionally, he instructs four courses throughout the year which consists of eight hours of firearms training for the explorers. Explorer Post 2061 training classes consist of classes such as basic law enforcement operations, crime scene protection and collection of evidence, handcuffing, defensive tactics, first-aid and CPR, ten codes and radio signals, traffic stops, and felony traffic stops.

Master Deputy Cole receives over 80 requests a year for Explorer Post 2061’s participation. They volunteer to assist in events organized by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office such as SWAT Round-up, Kicks for Guns, the annual Law Enforcement Memorial, Cops and Kids Shopping Event, and the Autistic-Handicapped Children’s Holiday Party. The Post’s honor guard participates in the opening ceremonies for agency award presentations and the Civilian Police Academy.

Explorer Post 2061 also assists in community events such as festival parking, neighborhood trash pickup, and safety fairs. They receive donations for their services and use those funds to send the Post to competitions throughout the state.

Explorer Post 2061 is active in the Florida Sheriffs’ Explorer Association and regularly attends the delegate conferences and the Florida Sheriffs’ Explorer Association State Competition.

Master Deputy Cole is highly respected by Orange County Sheriff’s Office employees, his chain of command, and his Explorer Post 2061. He is dedicated to teaching youth, assisting those in need and protecting the citizens of Orange County. His efforts have made a significant difference within the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and have substantially impacted the lives of the many young people he has mentored throughout the years.

NSA established the Law Enforcement Explorer Post Advisor Award in 1988 to recognize a post advisor for outstanding contributions to a law enforcement explorer post sponsored by a sheriff's office. Candidates are judged on their recruiting efforts, size of post and tenure of explorers, written program plans, explorer training, and post activities. This award is sponsored by GTL.


Previous Winners

1999   Sergeant Barbara Smith - St. Lucie County, FL

2000   Sergeant Hank Davis - Contra Costa County , CA

2002   Deputy Gregory L. Rabanus - Hamilton County, OH

2001   Sergeant Brian Davy - Natrona County, WY

2003   Segeant Tygh Thompson - Washington County, OR

2004   Deputy Lillian "lee" Sutterfield - Palm Beach County, FL

2004   Corporal Andy Gerrard - Riverside County, CA

2005   Sergeant Theresa (Teri) Ellingham - Will County, IL

2006   Kendall K. Anderson - Jacksonville, FL

2007   Corporal Yakeisha Hines - Prince Georges County, MD

2008   Deputy Sonya Matthews - Kitsap County, WA

2009   Deputy Barry Bland - Hanover County, VA

 2010   Leiuteant LaFate E. Day, Jr. - Lafourche Parish, LA

2011   Deputy Joni Goodley - Pinellas County, Fl

2012   Deputy Rich Bennett - Dane County, WI

2013   Oscar Garcia - Washington County, UT

2014  Deputy James Butterfield - Pinellas County, FL