Hernando mourns detective who died of COVID-19

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Detective Tommy Breedlove died late Saturday, Sept. 4, of COVID-19.

BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County Sheriff’s Office detective with 33 years of experience died of COVID-19 on Saturday night, according to a news release from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

The death of Tommy Breedlove, 54, of Lake Lindsey is listed as in the line of duty, though he had recently been hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Sheriff Al Nienhuis.

“Detective Breedlove worked in Major Case Investigations and was in charge of the agency's Sexual Offender / Sexual Predator Monitoring Program (SPOT) since its implementation in 2006,” the release said. “Throughout this time, Detective Breedlove worked tirelessly tracking and monitoring every sexual offender and predator who moved into and out of Hernando County. He was relentless as it pertained to protecting children and punishing those who dared to harm them.”

Breedlove began his career in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in the Florida Keys in 1988, the press release said. In June 1998, he joined the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office in the patrol division. He was promoted to detective in Major Case Investigations in August 2002, and in 2006 he started the SPOT program.

Breedlove received 18 employee awards, commendations and letters of appreciation throughout his 23-year career at the HCSO and 33 commendations while employed by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

He is survived by his wife, Breena, and seven children ages 12 to 22. The family was active in the Eden Baptist Church of Lake Lindsey, where the detective was head of security and taught Sunday School to adults.

“Detective Breedlove's love for law enforcement led him to yet another area where his legacy will live on,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “He helped mold the next generation of law enforcement professionals by being a long time and well-respected instructor at a local law enforcement academy.”

The Sheriff’s Office said it is planning a “Line of Duty Death” funeral service, with full law enforcement honors. More information on funeral arrangements will be provided later.