Meet Hendry County Deputy Mike Moore

Deputy Mike Moore was raised in Dade County, Florida and the Florida Keys. At the young age of 17, Moore left high school and joined the United States Marine Corps. While enlisted, he spent nearly three years in Combat Arms Artillery.

After returning to the United States in January of 1966, Moore was ordered to go to Vietnam. After only a short time, he ended up spending a few months in Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in California. Once released, Moore stated that “he bummed around” as he drove delivery trucks in Chicago, and worked on boats in California and Mexico. Still struggling to find his path in life, he finally decided to listen to a relative who had suggested that he consider a role in broadcasting.

In January of 1967, Moore began his broadcasting career at a small station in Upstate New York. Over the years, he worked with various broadcasting companies in New Hampshire, Colorado and Florida. His work experiences in Florida include Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Clewiston. Even though he has been out of the full-time broadcasting business for about four years, he still finds opportunities to work as a part-time broadcaster on occasion.

Starting to feel a bit burnt out from broadcasting, a friend of Moore’s suggested that he consider taking a position as an Auxiliary Deputy. Although not completely convinced, he applied with Medley Police Department in Dade County, Florida and was soon on his way to a new career path.

Moore began to develop a strong relationship with the field of law enforcement. Although he loved his volunteer work as an Auxiliary Deputy, he really wanted to further pursue the idea of becoming a certified law enforcement officer. However, he chose to listen to a friend who advised him that he should perhaps take a little time and enjoy the benefits of volunteering as an Auxiliary Deputy and continue working as a part-time broadcaster. In his friend’s opinion, Moore ‘really had the dream job’. Taking the advice, he decided to wait for nearly a year and a half before making the switch.

In 1975, Moore came to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department for an interview. He sat down with former Sheriff Earl Dyess as well as other administrators. Not really knowing what to expect, he listened carefully and answered their questions. In the end, he was hired on the spot. He attended Lee County Area Vocational Technical School and received his certification in Law Enforcement.

The fact that Moore’s mom really wanted him to be closer to her was an added reason to make the move inland from the coast. He soon relocated to Pioneer Plantation, and started working as a deputy in Clewiston. He worked as a road patrol deputy, and continued to do some broadcasting in his spare time.

Wanting to increase his knowledge and gain experience, Deputy Moore decided to go to work for the Davie Police Department in Broward County during the span of 1977 to 1981. While in Miami, he spent many days and nights working the riots. He also became a K-9 Handler with the department, and acquired a furry partner named Thor.

Feeling more well rounded in his career, Deputy Moore was yet again ready for a change. He was hired by former Hendry County Sheriff Bob Durkis as the county’s first ever K-9 Handler. When leadership changed at the department, Deputy Moore began working for the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department again under the former Sheriff Sermon Dyess, only this time as an Investigator.

After Dyess’ term was over, Deputy Moore opted to take a break from law enforcement for a couple of years. He worked as a both a private investigator and a radio broadcaster. He later ended up working as a campus police officer at Pahokee High School.

When former Hendry County Sheriff Steve Worley was elected, Deputy Moore opted to return to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department in January of 2001. He was hired by Sheriff Worley as a Lieutenant, and was in charge of the Road Patrol Unit. He later worked as a Lieutenant with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) as well.

Retirement for Deputy Moore finally arrived in January of 2005. Not one to sit around and needing to stay busy, his retirement did not last long. Law enforcement work was in his blood. He went to work with the Glades County Sheriff’s Department and fulfilled an eight-month contract. When his contract expired, Deputy Moore once again went to work for the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department under the current Sheriff Steve Whidden.

During his time working for Sheriff Whidden, Deputy Moore has worked as a Road Patrol Officer, an Investigator, a School Resource Officer (SRO), a Community Policing Officer, and is now currently employed as a Bailiff for the Hendry County Court system.

As a Bailiff, Deputy Moore is situated in the courtroom and serves the court. He maintains order and provides security. Along with guarding juries and enforcing the rules of the courts, he also assists the judges as needed. As a Law Enforcement Officer, Deputy Moore has made it his mission to “represent the department in a just and honorable fashion.”

Some of the best advice Deputy Moore ever received came from his step-grandfather who grew up during the Depression years. He told his step-grandson that there were five things in life he needed to choose from if he wanted to be able to get by all of the time. These included working in automotive mechanics because man is too lazy to walk and will always need somebody to fix his vehicle; get involved in the news and entertainment business because when a man is depressed he’ll need something to lift his spirits up; get in the food business because a man has to eat; get a government job because people need others to look out for them; and get in the liquor business because sometimes man just needs an escape. Deputy Moore found his passion in the entertainment industry and in a governmental law position – both of which have enabled him to be hardworking, independent man who has made his own way throughout his life.

Perhaps his most memorable experience while on the job involved a meeting a brokenhearted little girl who had her bicycle stolen. After completing the report, Deputy

Deputy Moore stated that the incident “bothered him for quite some time.” Nearly three months later, he was traveling down a road in Clewiston and looked in the canal alongside him. Seeing something shiny, he decided to back up and check it out. Interestingly, it was a little girl’s bike. He used his jumper cables to hook the bike and pull it up out of the water. He put it in his car and took it to the sheriff’s department. After giving it a good scrubbing, he checked the serial number and found that it actually belonged to that same little girl he had encountered months before. Deputy Moore stated “being able to return her bike was the biggest gratitude moment of my life.”

Deputy Moore has been happily married to his wife, Judy Byers Moore, and together they have raised five children. His late brother, Eddie Britt was a retired Sergeant with the Belle Glade Police Department, and his other brother, Edgar Hodge lives in Clewiston.

So what exactly does this officer like to do in his free time when he is not spending time with his family or serving the courts? Deputy Moore’s favorite hobby is participating in War of Northern Aggression (also known as the Civil War) reenactments. He is part of a group that travels to many war reenactments across the country, and he could be considered as quite a history buff. In fact, he loves to read books, especially those about the history of the Civil War. He also enjoys riding his motorcycles and his horses (who are also fully military trained to accompany him to his “battles”). To keep himself busy while he is not working, he mows a handful of commercial and residential properties as well as provides his broadcasting voice for a few commercials.

Deputy Moore stated, “ I still get excited when I put my uniform on each morning.” This accurately reflects his commitment to law enforcement and his community. The ability, drive and desire to protect and to serve is definitely in his DNA.

Amanda can be reached at cbnews@newszap.com

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