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It was said, “Anyone who knew her couldn’t be in the same room with her and not be happy, and anyone in the room who didn’t know her soon would.”

Monica Sauls, having served the Highlands County Sheriff Office (FL) for 41 years, retired in 2012. Monica devoted most of her law enforcement career as an advocate for children. It was reported on June 22nd that Monica passed at the age of 63.

Monica was a D.A.R.E. officer and mentor for more than 20 years. She not only had a positive influence on students in Florida, but also upon many D.A.R.E. officers.

“Her passion was kids, both their happiness and their safety”, said Susan Benton, former Highlands County sheriff. Shortly after graduating high school in 1971, “Sauls started work at the Sheriff’s Office as a secretary, then as a dispatcher, then got certified as a deputy.”

She started working with kids in 1974 as investigator of juvenile crimes and was instrumental in launching the county’s D.A.R.E. (Drug Awareness and Resistance Education) program, serving many years as a school resource deputy. She also established public education programs on drug abuse, sexual assault, career awareness, home security, child abuse and crimes against the elderly.

Monica will be missed.

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