Jan. 9 was tragic day for UCF, Orlando and the law enforcement community.
Orlando Police Department Master Sergeant Debra Clayton and Orange County Sheriff’s Office Deputy First Class Norman Lewis were killed in the line of duty during the attempted apprehension of a wanted homicide suspect.
Both were graduates of UCF’s College of Health and Public Affairs who had deep connections to the communities they served.
“Master Sgt. Clayton and Deputy First Class Lewis dedicated their lives to making our community safer, and they were outstanding role models,” UCF President John C. Hitt said. “Our UCF family joins the Orlando Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Office in mourning their deaths. They are heroes and Knights forever.”
Master Sgt. Clayton earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration in 1998 and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2002. A 17-year Orlando police veteran, mother and newlywed, Clayton began working with OPD in 1999 and was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant in 2016. During her time with OPD, Clayton worked with Parramore Kidz Zone and was an active member the Urban League’s anti-violence task force.
Deputy First Class Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2004 and was a football student-athlete from 2000-03. He joined the OCSO in 2005 and served as a member of the motors/DUI unit, which brought him back to UCF football games as part of the security detail. He was well-known, well-liked and affectionately referred to as “Big Norm” by many.
The UCF community and the public are invited to attend memorial services for Master Sgt. Clayton and Deputy First Class Lewis. Both ceremonies will be held at First Baptist Orlando, located at 3000 S. John Young Pkwy., Orlando.
Master Sgt. Clayton’s service is 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, with entombment to follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, 400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road in Gotha.
Deputy First Class Lewis’ service was originally set for Friday but was rescheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, with internment to follow at a later date in his hometown of Port Charlotte, Fla.