Jan. 9, 2017, was a day of tragedy for both the law enforcement community and the UCF community.
Two local law enforcement officers who were graduates of the College of Health and Public Affairs died in the line of duty.
Debra (Durgins) Clayton, a master sergeant with the Orando Police Department, and Norman Lewis, a deputy first class with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, were killed during the pursuit of a wanted homicide suspect.
Clayton was shot and killed while attempting to arrest the suspect in the early morning. She was a 17-year veteran of the OPD, a mother and a newlywed. She earned her bachelor’s degree in public administration in 1998 and her master’s degree in criminal justice in 2002. She was known widely for her strong commitment to her community, including her work with Parramore Kidz Zone and the Urban League’s anti-violence task force.
Lewis was killed in a traffic accident about two hours later while helping to search for the suspect. He joined the OCSO in 2005 and served as a member of the motors/DUI unit. He was a member of the UCF football team and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2004. He was well-known, well-liked and affectionally referred to as “Big Norm” by many.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” said Catherine Kaukinen, chair and professor of criminal justice at UCF. “They had dedicated their lives to protecting and serving, and their loss is profoundly felt here in the department and college. We extend our deepest condolences to their families.”
Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis Remembered As a Gentle Giant – Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 9, 2017
Slain Orlando Police Officer Debra Clayton Was an ‘an Angel,’ Friend Says – Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 9, 2017