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6 x March 2 - 15, 2017 x

6 x March 2 - 15, 2017 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 Central Florida’s Largest Selection of Office Furniture 50,000-Sq.-Ft. Showroom 440 West Kennedy Blvd. 407-316-0101 www.ofo-orlando.com • New • Used • Scratch ‘n Dent READY FOR SPRING? “But the magic behind these initiatives are the relationships and bonds that are forged over time. Debra loved those programs because they helped humanize police officers.” Clayton also organized multiple “Stop the Violence” rallies, was an active member of the Central Florida National Organization of Black Law Executives (NOBLE), and was a humble recipient of numerous awards and commendations. In addition, Clayton authored Bridging the Gap Between Law Enforcement and the Community. “The police are here to help you,” Clayton told dozens of residents at an Orlando Police Department summer event. “We are not here to hurt you; we are here to help you.” She will also be remembered for her fortitude in defending the community she worked so hard to unite. "Know that she never thought [her death] would happen at that time," Patterson said. “But she was willing to do what was necessary to protect the community. That was just Debra. I know there’s a place greater for her. Her crown is waiting for her.” During a candlelight vigil, just two days and only a few feet from where Clayton lost her life, Brinson recalled his heroic mother’s bravery. “She lived for it, and she died for it,” he said. “She was the prime example, everything she worked for, she died for.” DPHS social studies instructor and former OPD Officer James Coney The late Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton (second from right) leaves behind a legacy of service to the community and a continuous effort to show residents that law enforcement officers are here to help. said he hopes to continue to make a difference in Clayton’s honor. “Her life was as genuine as her smile,” he said, recalling his former student. “The teacher should inspire the student. There is no evidence that it happened. But I know her story will inspire me now. There is still a race to run, young black males to teach, and a community to change. With God’s help, I will continue to do that. Thank you Lt. Debra Clayton.” ª

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