End of Watch: The death of Escambia County, Florida Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Roosevelt Walker

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May 22, 1998

Roosevelt Walker was born in Pensacola on September 17, 1958, to Roosevelt Sr. and Geneva Walker. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where Roosevelt spent a good part of his childhood. In 1975, he enlisted in the United States Army and served three years. Moving back to Chicago, he met and married Renee Mitchell. They soon returned to Pensacola and made it home.

Roosevelt began working with the Pensacola Police Department in 1981. Finally, he found it. This was the job for him. He loved it, and he was good at it. Before long, he had established a reputation, in the court system, in the station, and on the street. He began in the Patrol Division, but soon moved to Narcotics, where he worked undercover. He also continued his education.

Roosevelt eventually resigned his position at the police department in order to pursue his degree full-time. He worked for the University of West Florida Police and later for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office as an aide. After he obtained his Bachelor’s degree, he became a road deputy – back to serving the public. It wasn’t long before he became a field training officer and began training new deputies as they began their career in law enforcement.

In the beginning of 1998, two significant events in Roosevelt’s life took place. On February 3, Roosevelt Jr. was promoted to sergeant at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office by the new sheriff, Jim Lowman. It was a moment that brought pride to his family, his friends and to the Sheriff’s Office.

Eleven days later, on Valentine’s Day – February 14 – Roosevelt lost his mentor, the man who raised him. Roosevelt Walker Sr. passed away. The family celebrations turned to mourning.

Sgt. Walker responded to a domestic situation. What he hoped would be a simple solution turned into a major fight. When a person is under the influence of a mind-altering drug, they become erratic, violent and strong. Techniques often applied by using pain-compliance become useless. Overpowering is met with superhuman strength. The two deputies had their hands full.

The deputies were finally able to handcuff Lavvorn and take her into custody. The younger deputy looked at Roosevelt, hoping to get a “well done” by the veteran, but instead he saw his sergeant grab his chest and collapse. An ambulance was called for and responded. Within minutes, Roosevelt was in the emergency room at nearby Baptist Hospital. But it was hopeless. Sergeant Roosevelt Walker died of a massive heart attack that evening.

Thank you for your sacrifice, Sir.

6 responses to “End of Watch: The death of Escambia County, Florida Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Roosevelt Walker”

  1. David Poole Avatar
    David Poole

    Roosevelt was one of my FTO’s! I could feel this article with great stores of Roosevelt ! He was a great officer, an excellent FTO, and an evening better person! He taught me so much! Missed, but never forgotten!

  2. srso82 Avatar

    He was the man that tought me how to train even though I was in training. Him and a few others showed me what a true cop was. Thank you Mike, you have a special gift honoring these officers.

    1. Mike Simmons Avatar


  3. Scott Mashburn Avatar
    Scott Mashburn

    Roosevelt was one of my FTO’S. I learned so much from him. I remember this night all to well. It was really difficult to finish the shift that evening.

  4. PEGGY Stephens Avatar
    PEGGY Stephens

    A beautiful tribute. You write from your heart, Mike. Great job.

    1. Walt Matthews Avatar
      Walt Matthews

      We blocked every intersection going to the hospital. It was approximately 8 miles and we did it in 7 minutes. I’ll never forget that night or Sgt. Walker.

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