Florida First Lady to Recognize Hillsborough County Detective

First Lady Casey DeSantis Joins Attorney General Ashley Moody to Recognize Hillsborough County Detective

TAMPA, FL (STL.News) First Lady Casey DeSantis joined Attorney General Ashley Moody at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to recognize Corporal Mike Blair with the Attorney General’s Back the Blue award, while highlighting Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent signing of the strongest law enforcement support initiative in the nation.

In 2018, Detective Blair responded to a horrific crime scene where a man had murdered his daughter and the mother of his children and brutally attacked his son, stabbing him and lighting him on fire.  In acts of selflessness and compassion, Detective Blair and his wife Danyel spent time with the boy, Ronnie, in the hospital as he recovered from his injuries and then decided to adopt him, welcoming him into their family alongside their other five children.  A video from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detailing the story can be viewed here.

“Florida is a law-and-order state, and the Governor and I commend Attorney General Moody for her partnership in backing Florida’s blue.  No child should have to experience the trauma Ronnie went through, but because of the incredible generosity of Detective Blair and his wife Danyel, his story of love and prospect is just beginning,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis.  “Blair family, we thank you – your commitment to protect and serve drives our commitment to make Florida the most law enforcement-friendly state in the nation.”

“It’s situations like this that not only define who you are as an officer, but who you are as a human being,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.  “Corporal Blair has held many titles throughout his career, but I believe one of the most impressive titles he has earned is father.  Corporal Blair is a hero, and I cannot thank him enough for his service to Florida and especially to his son Ronnie.”

“Corporal Mike Blair has an unwavering passion for serving his community.  He is also devoted to his family and is a shining example of someone who goes above and beyond for those he loves and what he knows is right,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.  “If I had to describe him in one word, it would be ‘ready.’  Mike is always ready to help a coworker through a difficult time, ready to solve a heinous crime, to bring much-awaited answers and closure to families, and ready to open his heart and home to a little boy who changed his life for the better.  I can think of no one more deserving than Mike for the Attorney General’s ‘Back the Blue’ award.  I appreciate Attorney General Moody’s support and recognition of a man who has dedicated his life to service, doing so with compassion for those around him.”

On April 1, Governor DeSantis signed HB 3, the Strongest Law Enforcement Recruitment and Support Initiative in the Nation, into law.  This legislation:

  • Provides signing bonuses of up to $5,000 to newly employed law enforcement officers in Florida through the creation of the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program.
  • Covers tuition, fees, and up to $1,000 of eligible education expenses for trainees enrolled in a law enforcement officer basic recruit training program through the creation of the Florida Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship Program.
  • Offers a reimbursement program to pay for up to $1,000 of equivalency training costs for certified law enforcement officers who relocate to Florida or members of the special operations forces who become full-time law enforcement officers in Florida.
  • Makes dependent children of law enforcement officers eligible to receive a Family Empowerment Scholarship to attend private schools.
  • Provides law enforcement officers who adopt a child from within the state child welfare system with a $10,000 benefit or a $25,000 benefit for adopting a child with special needs.