FORT MYERS, Fla. While the badge means to serve and protect, one officer is being recognized for her work off the clock.
Master Ofc. Melissa Duncan, Lee County Port Authority Police Department, volunteers for the Special Olympics and supports athletes competing in a variety of sports.
“They always have a smile on their face, whether they’re first place, last place, once they cross that finish line, they’re still excited,” Duncan said. “It’s an inspiration.”
Duncan has been involved with the event for years, but one unexpected friendship has inspired her.
“Her name is Stephanie,” Duncan said. “She calls me her sister.”
Stephanie competes in track and swimming with Duncan cheering her on at every practice and competition.
Duncan believes the athletes have helped her become a better officer and a better person.
“Having people look at us outside law enforcement and knowing that we’re just normal people, here to help and here to have fun,” she said.
Duncan is one of five in the running for Lee County Officer of the Year. The award will be given at the sold-out Law & Order Ball, sponsored by WINK News, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at Germain Arena in Estero.
MORE: Deputy dedicated to veterans up for Officer of the Year
MORE: Finalists named for Lee County Officer of the Year
MORE: School resource deputy vying for Lee Officer of the Year
MORE: Sgt. lifts Lee County kids’ spirits through holiday program