The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute has named Deputy Robert Freer of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office Deputy of the Year. Deputy Freer was nominated for this prestigious state-wide honor by his Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson.
In 1977, the Sheriffs’ Association Institute created the Deputy of the Year Award which is given to a Deputy Sheriff who, during the previous year, performed an act of exceptional valor and heroism, above and behind the call of duty.
On June 12, 2012 Deputy Freer responded to the report of a structure fire in the Town of LaGrange. Arriving at the scene he found heavy black smoke pouring of the building’s second floor. A neighbor alerted Deputy Freer of a man that was possibly trapped in the rear of the second floor. Deputy Freer worked his way to the rear of the building and up to the second floor, where he located a man who’s legs were burned. Deputy Freer was able to get the victim out a window and to safety.
After assuring that the man was safe, Deputy Freer began to investigate the incident at hand. His efforts proved that the injured man was in fact a scorned husband who, after having a fight was his wife, tried to burn the entire house down. His spouse, children and parents were inside the home. When the husband realized that Deputy Freer had learned the truth about the fire he tried to reenter the burning home. Deputy Freer reacted quickly and after a struggle forcibly secured the man. Who has since been indicted for attempted murder, arson and reckless endangerment. Thanks to fearless efforts Deputy Freer no one was seriously injured.
“Deputy Freer not only displayed bravey he used excellent police procedures to minize a potential violent situation as well as prevent a successful arson that could very likely resulted in multiple murders,” said Sheriff Ron Spike, Chairman of the Sheriffs Association Institute’s Award Selection Committee. “Without question Deputy Freer is an outstanding officers and is an excellent example of the professionalism of the men and women who serve in the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office.”