Highlands County Sheriff’s Office mourns loss of Deputy Paul Robitaille

The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation involving one of their members.

At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, Paul Robitaille, a Detention Deputy assigned to the Highlands County Courthouse, took his own life while on duty.

Shortly before 10 a.m., Deputy Paul Robitaille, a Detention Deputy assigned to the Highlands County Courthouse, asked his supervisor for a break. Security camera footage shows him walking out of the courthouse and to a nearby parking lot. At one point, he spoke to another deputy as he was walking on the sidewalk on Eucalyptus St. At no time did Deputy Robitaille give any indication something was wrong. A short time later, he was found near the northeast corner of the HCSO headquarters, deceased from a self-inflicted wound.

Deputy Robitaille was 56 years old. He leaves behind a wife and three children in his immediate family. His daughter, Ashlee, is a part-time deputy with the HCSO.

Deputy Robitaille joined the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office on March 5, 2007.

“Paul was a great employee with a great attitude. We are all shocked and heartbroken over this and I ask that everyone keep his family, friends and our agency family in their prayers,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said. “The Sheriff’s Office is doing everything possible to comfort and support Paul’s family, as well as all of our members, to help everyone get through this.”

Last year, more than 50,000 Americans died by suicide and 128 of those were law enforcement officers.

“One is too many,” Sheriff Blackman said. “If you or anyone you know is suffering with a mental crisis or having thoughts of self harm, I beg you to please ask for help. You do not have to go through this alone. There are people who want to help. If you don’t want to talk to someone you know, all you have to do is dial 988 on any phone to talk to someone at Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. If you have nobody else and want to talk to someone face to face, call us. The Sheriff’s Office has chaplains and victim advocates available, as well as access to many other avenues to get you help.”

Corrections published at 3:17 PM, January 31st, 2024.

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