Funeral for LCSO deputy who died of COVID-19 complications

A funeral will be held Saturday for a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy who passed away from complications related to COVID-19.

Friends, family and coworkers of Deputy Sheriff First Class Steven Mazzota will gather at 8 a.m. at the CenturyLink Sports Complex to celebrate his life. The event will be streamed live on the LCSO Facebook page. Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who announced Mazzotta’s passing Monday, calls him both a “hero” and a “family member.”

According to the Officer Down memorial page, 22 law enforcement officers in Florida have died from COVID-19, and over 500 nationwide. Marceno says members of law enforcement don’t get to shelter in place or work from home like many have during this time, that it’s their job to suit up and head to work when called upon, as Mazzotta did. He served with LCSO for almost 20 years and devoted his whole career to the corrections bureau. Marceno says while he personally fears nothing, losing one of his own is one of his biggest fears.

“To have to stand in front of my family members and agency members and talk about the loss of one of our own, it’s a really big deal,” Marceno said. “And it’s with a heavy heart, it really… it breaks my heart that we lost one of our employees.”

Marceno says Mazzotta went above and beyond for his job, always volunteering for special projects and serving others before himself. Mazzota comes from a long line of law enforcement officers, and his nephew actually works on the central investigations division. Marceno calls Mazzotta’s passing a painful reminder that life is short and precious, and says people in our community should be there for each other in these difficult times.

“Law enforcement, we don’t have the ability, you know, to not engage: We have to come to work, we have to answer the call,” Marceno said. “And that’s what we signed up for. And that’s our job. But with that comes a lot of risk. He’s a hero, he really is.”

Reporter:Taylor Wirtz
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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