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Orlando-based Detective Michael Vitta Awarded Investigative Officer of the Year

3/11/2009

 CONTACT: Kevin Cate or Jayme O’Rourke
                 (850) 413-2842            
                                                                                                                                                        
 
TALLAHASSEE- Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink today congratulated Detective Michael Vitta after he was awarded Investigative Officer of the Year by the State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association at an event in Tallahassee. Detective Vitta, who works in the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, was chosen from nominees representing the state’s law enforcement agencies that are responsible for conducting investigations that are not done by traditional uniformed officers.
 
“Arson is a dangerous crime that puts innocent citizens and rescue personnel at great risk,” said State Fire Marshal Alex Sink. “Detective Vitta’s investigative work is a shining example of all the work that’s done by the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations.”
 
Detective Vitta, who is also certified as a Firefighter II and Emergency Medical Technician, has been with the Bureau since June of 2006.  He is assigned to the Orlando Field Office which covers Orange, Osceola, and Lake Counties.  Prior to joining the Bureau, Detective Vitta served with the Greenacres Department of Public Safety and Parkland’s Public Safety Department. In the past year, Detective Vitta investigated 119 fires, of which 83 were determined to have been arson; as a result of these cases, 13 individuals have been arrested and 11 cases have been cleared by arrest. 
 
In one noteworthy case, Detective Vitta investigated a chain of fires that he discovered had been set by an autistic juvenile. He worked with the child’s parents and, after months of attempts, was able to successfully make the case in court for the child to be placed in an appropriate treatment program rather than a correctional facility.
 
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is the law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires and explosions.