Eulogy at the memorial service for Deputy Todd Fatta
I stand before you today with a heavy heart. It is never easy to say goodbye to someone who meant so much to so many. This much is clear: we have lost a beloved son, brother, friend, colleague and public servant. But Todd Fatta lives on, in the deeds he performed, in the thoughts, the feelings and the memories of him that we hold dear.
Deputy Todd Fatta was a hero. He was prepared to protect and to defend our lives, our homes, our property and our streets. Todd was a valued, treasured friend to everyone who knew him.
To Josephine and Joseph, he was a dearly loved son. To Joe, Linda and Colleen, he was a committed brother. To Jeffrey, Randy and Kiley, he was a devoted, admired uncle. To all of his family, our prayers and deepest sympathies are with you.
And to his fellow law enforcement officers, he was a shining example of what a deputy should be: competent and courageous, tenacious and tough, brave and dedicated, yet understanding and compassionate to those who needed a helping hand.
He was truly committed to public service. Deputy Fatta always strived to be the best he possibly could be. He was never satisfied with mediocrity. He had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and self-improvement, from his martial arts classes to his obsession with protein bars.
And he had the same high level of commitment when it came to looking out for the interests and the needs of others. Whether he was dedicating his Saturday to fixing a partner's fence or helping yet another colleague move into a new home, Todd was a friend on and off the job.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention what a dedicated fan Todd was of the Buffalo Bills. Many of you told me of the innovative way he would relay football news through paging. There aren't many of you who didn't receive his relentless bragging of scores on your Nextel. Todd, as you look down upon us today, know that your friends are saving a place for you on the couch in mid-October when the Bills play the Dolphins.
Todd was loved for his humor. He had a gift for making each of us laugh. His endless practical jokes will long live on. Todd, I have no doubt that you and Sergeant Goulet are already trading laughs and jokes. J.J. will take good care of you, as you will of him.
Sergeant Cedeño, Angie, you have been through much in the last five days. You too, are a hero. I want you to know that your BSO family is extremely proud of you and deeply cares for you.
If our task were to develop a list of the characteristics of the ideal law enforcement officer, there would be no better way to start than with the integrity and personal traits of Todd Fatta. I truly doubt there is a finer example.
From the time he was very young, he had his heart set on becoming a police officer. Todd served his country in the United States Air Force. Todd served his community with the Broward Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement was the focus of his life - and he was not blinded by distractions. Deputy Fatta was the epitome of what a law enforcement officer should be: a respected, trusted associate to those who worked with him, and a generous, caring friend to the countless people with whom he came into contact each day.
He touched many lives. He saved many lives. His dedication was unshakeable. His course was unswerving. And his compassion was unending. Todd knew what his values were. He was true to his cause of creating a better, safer and more secure life for everyone. He never wavered. He always went the extra mile.
It is important to remember that law enforcement officers go to work each day prepared to give their lives to protect our lives. And Deputy Fatta made the ultimate sacrifice.
As sad as we are in assembling here today, we are here to pay our respects to Todd. We are here to honor his memory as a courageous and true professional, a trusted associate and a dear friend.
Todd would want us to wipe away our tears, clear our throats and re-focus on the goal. He would ask us to set our sights on the safety and well-being of those around us. He would ask us to be committed in this quest, as he certainly was. He would expect us to persevere, despite the twists and turns that we encounter every day. Through his work in law enforcement, Todd was totally committed to making a difference. And he did.
We must strive to always do our best. And always put the needs of others first. I know Todd would smile and nod in agreement.
As many of his fellow deputies told me, one of Todd's favorite sayings was "handle it." Not to worry Todd, we'll do just that. We'll pull together and "handle it."
As I called upon you at the Deputy Philip Billings memorial service last year, I call on you again. To the men and women of the Broward Sheriff's Office, I ask you to stand. As Deputy Fatta stood up and gave his last full measure for this community and in service to each of us, so too shall we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, arm-in-arm to make this, our home, a safer place.
May the memory of Deputy Todd Fatta never leave our midst. May his spirit never leave our hearts, and may his service be an inspiration to us all.
On behalf of the men and women of the Broward Sheriff's Office, on behalf of the entire law enforcement community and on behalf of his friends everywhere, I close by saying thank you, Todd, for making a difference.
We know you are safe. May God bless you. We will miss you, and we will not forget.
- In Memoriam Main Page
- Deputy Daniel Rivera
- Deputy Christopher Schaub
- Deputy Paul Rein
- Sergeant Christopher Reyka
- Deputy Brian Tephford
- Deputy Ryan C. Seguin
- Deputy Philip G. Billings
- Deputy Michael Doane
- Deputy Michael Metroka
- Deputy Patrick Behan
- Officer Scott A. Winters
- Deputy John Greeney III
- Deputy Tony Yanniello
- Deputy Joe Edwards
- Deputy Joseph V. Conte
- Deputy Robert Milligan
- Officer James T. Thomas
- Officer Jerry Genova
- Deputy James Hillberry
- Deputy Arthur Fillebrown
- Marshal William Louis Cox
- Marshal John Clifton