NewsDeSoto, Highlands, Hardee County


Volunteers donate 2,247 hours of community service in honor of Fallen Deputy William Gentry

Deputy Gentry's badge number was 2247
Posted at 5:08 PM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 18:30:29-05

SEBRING, Fla. — The brother of a deputy killed in the line of duty says every day is a struggle since his older brother's death. 

December 7, 2018 marks seven months since Deputy William Gentry was killed while responding to a call about a dispute over a cat. 

Deputy Gentry joined the Highlands County Sheriff's Office in 2005. He worked for the Highlands County Sheriff's Office on and off for more than 10 years. He worked in the K-9 Unit and road patrol. 

His brother, Deputy Kevin Gentry, said William loved dogs. He had four of them including a retired K-9.

"That was his life, his animals, those were his kids," said Deputy Kevin Gentry. 

Deputy Kevin Gentry also works for Highlands County Sheriff's Office. He works at a local school.

He said he misses his older brother.

"Growing up we hated each other and fought like dogs and cats then once we both started in law enforcement, we became really close. We spoke just about every day," said Deputy Kevin Gentry.

There is a push to encourage the community to volunteer in memory of the fallen deputy. A project started by Leadership Highlands Class of 2018 started an effort called "Project 2247." 

Deputy Gentry's badge number was 2247. 

More than 800 hours have been logged. Volunteers helped with the renovation of the Children's Museum in downtown Sebring and at the annual Sebring Craft Beer Festival.

"We just want to give back to the community in honor of his memory and in honor of Leadership Highlands. We want to ask the community to help us in that effort," said Melony Culpepper, Leadership Highlands Class of 2018 President. 

Deputy Kevin Gentry said community and work support have been helpful during this challenging time.

"Every time we turn around we're getting something else that has been done in his honor. I know he's looking down and he's proud of us today," said Deputy Kevin Gentry. 

For more information on Project 2247 visit its Facebook page at "Project 2247."