CCSO honors kids for ‘doing the right thing’

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COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Several students were honored by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office on Monday for “doing the right thing.”

“It’s unbelievable, ’cause you could see how diverse it was today, from collecting books to helping to save a life to finding money or jewelry. So these kids need to be recognized and need to be commended for that,” said Sgt. Mel Gonzales.

Two of the boys were recognized for running away back in August from a stranger who offered them candy in his car. That night, James Asbell and Ryan Garraty said they knew what to do because they completed the Junior Deputy class in fourth grade.

“I’m feeling really good” said Garraty.

“Thankful that we paid attention in school” said Asbell.

“We’re very, very proud of them for doing the right thing and coming and telling us, getting the other children away from them. It was a proud moment being a parent absolutely,” said James’ mother, Sarah Asbell.

Another thrilling moment for the two boys was when Sgt. Gonzales told them they could be future deputies one day.

“I thought he was just giving me the job,” said Garraty. “I’m just kidding, I thought he really inspired me.”

Asbell said, “I want to be a chef, but I’ve also been inspired to be a deputy too.”

“We continue to teach them, but just because they’re young doesn’t mean you and I can’t learn from them and that’s the beautiful thing about this program,” said Gonzales.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office adopted the “Do the Right Thing” program in January 1988, and has honored hundreds of children for acts that reinforce good behavior, positive acts and outstanding accomplishments in the community.

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