PERKINS, Scott W., 47, passed away July 21, 2012, in Addington, OK. Scott attended local schools in S. Tampa, graduating from Plant H.S. in 1983. After school, he joined the Army and served three years with the 82nd Airborne Div. Upon completing his fifth qualifying jump, his mother proudly pinned silver jump wings on his chest. During Scott's three-year enlistment, he completed Advanced Infantry School, Sniper School, and Jungle Expert Training in Costa Rica. After his military service, Scott attended Hillsboro C. C. and played on the baseball team. He also attended St. Leo College. In 1998, he rejoined the Army and completed the Special Forces qualification course at JFK Special Warfare School, Ft. Bragg, NC. Scott said that the 4 month course was the hardest thing he ever did. Of the 400 men who started the course with him, fewer than 100 completed. In 1991, Scott graduated the Tampa P.D. Academy and then joined the Orlando P.D. As an OPD officer, Scott was quickly recognized for his ability and extensive prior training and was assigned to the SWAT team. He was later assigned to detective and worked extensively as an undercover officer. Scott gained national recognition as an expert in RAVES and designer club drugs. In 1996, Scott was named "Undercover Officer of the Year" in FL. Also in 1996, he received the Award of Merit for his quick action in disarming a knife wielding subject who was threatening family members and police. In December 1997, Scott was a member of an OPD SWAT entry team that rescued two children that had been held hostage by an armed individual for over three days. During the rescue Scott was shot in the hand which resulted in his being medically retired. Scott and the team received the Medal of Valor; additionally, Scott received the Purple Heart. In 1998, Scott was named National Police Officer of the year by the National Police Chief's Association. Also that year, Scott was named one of the top ten officers of the year by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Parade Magazine. Scott wrote a drug recognition book that was helpful to police officers, parents and teachers. He also wrote and produced a video that shows the dangers of designer drugs. Scott was known for his tough image, kind heart, and infectious smile, and corny jokes. Scott is survived by his son, Michael; parents, Johnny & Linda; brother, Kelly; Aunt ,Cindy Yeary (Paul); uncles, Pat Gerhardt (Gale), Tim Gerhardt (Nan); and numerous cousins; many friends; special Aunt, Tobea; dear friend, Aida Rodriguez, Becky and Sherry, on whose ranch Scott became a real cowboy and grill king. Scott was predeceased by his grandparents, Scott & Betty Gerhardt, Jim & Hazel Miller and uncle, Mike Gerhardt. The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to officers Anita Kelly, Tommy Matthews, The Orlando P.D., and escort officers from OPD, St. Cloud PD and the Osceola S.O. Heartfelt thanks also to the First Baptist Church of Orlando, 3000 S. John Young Pkwy, 407-425-2555, where a full police memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 25, 2012, at 12:00 Noon. Lunch will be provided by the church immediately following the service.
Published in TBO.com on Aug. 21, 2012