Published: Jan 10, 2011 8:21 PM EST
Updated: Jan 10, 2011 5:21 PM EST

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla - Robbie Robbins, President of the Robert E. Lister Memorial Fraternal Order of Police Lodge-66, Charlotte Harbor, announced its Law Enforcement Officer honors for 2010. Each year the FOP honors law enforcement officers for actions above and beyond the call of duty.

DFC Brad Stender was named “Deputy of the Year” for his heroic actions Oct. 9, 2010 when he was engaged in a conflict with an armed suspect. DFC Stender responded to a disturbance in Port Charlotte. The subject had not been taking his medications, was intoxicated, depressed, bipolar, and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. When the man’s wife opened the door, DFC Stender entered the home.

 Her husband ran upstairs, then turned and pulled out a knife and took an aggressive stance 15 feet from the deputy. Fearing for the safety of the family and himself, Stender drew his firearm and gave commands to drop the knife; he refused. Stender recognized the behavior as erratic and confused; he put his firearm away and used his taser which struck the subject and was then able to handcuff him.

The FOP honor stated, “DFC Stender’s understanding of a subject under extreme mental duress and calm in the face of a dangerous threat not only resulted in the preservation of his life and lives of the family in the apartment, but also the life of the suspect.”

Also honored by the FOP were DFC Billy Tuck and Deputy Travis Steyskal for their rescue of a trapped woman from an overturned submerged vehicle on Nov. 17. The woman got out of her seatbelt but not out of the car. She was panicked and screaming trying to get out as water started to fill up the car. The deputies went into the water but were unable to get the door open and then broke the window to release the pressure. Dep. Steyskal extricated the woman and calmed her; she was transported by EMS to the hospital. DFC Tuck was treated for lacerations to his hand as a result of breaking the window.