Deputy Sheriff Gene Brian Wilkinson

Deputy Sheriff Gene Brian Wilkinson

Polk County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Monday, October 22, 2001

Gene Brian Wilkinson

Deputies Gene Wilkinson and Larry Rhoden were killed when their department helicopter crashed into a small pond near Lakeland, Florida at approximately 0200 hours, during a period of dense fog.

Deputy Wilkinson was the pilot of the Bell OH-58 helicopter. The two deputies were returning from a call when the crash occurred.

Deputy Wilkinson had been employed with the Polk County Sheriff's Office for seven years, and is survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

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The Sheriffs of Florida and their deputies will never forget the sacrifice you and your family made to uphold our laws and protect society.

Your name has been inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs and the National Law Enforcement Memorial and in our hearts. May you forever rest in peace.

A scripture inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial:

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children
of God." Matthew 5:9

Executive Director Steve Casey
Florida Sheriffs Association

August 20, 2016

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