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Detective Deanna Tofte Is Selected As America’s Most Wanted All Star

May 21, 2005 10:42 AM by Joe Blackmon

AMERICA’S MOST WANTED asked the public to identify All Stars — first responders who exemplify our nation’s best law-enforcement officer, firefighter or EMT personnel.  From over 800 submissions, AMW had the tough task of choosing only eight finalists.

Voting was opened to the public at the AMW website, www.amw.com, on Saturday, May 7 and closed on Tuesday, May 17.  According to the program’s executive producer, Lance Heflin, Detective Deanna Tofte of the Wichita Falls, Texas, Police Department came up the winner with an overwhelming lead over the other finalists.

Nextel Communications Inc. (NSDQ: NXTL) teamed up with AMW to honor the All Star.  Detective Tofte will receive $10,000 from Nextel, as well as a VIP day at the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge with John Walsh in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Saturday, May 21.

Tofte is with the Wichita Falls Crimes Against Children Unit.  She was nominated for her work in closing a case in which a man abused two children – using a 16" knife to threaten and intimidate them.  Over her career, Tofte has investigated 1,000 abuse cases involving minors.  Although she’s one of three detectives in the unit, she’s handled more than half its cases in the past year.

"We put up eight finalists who were all really super heroes as first responders," program host Walsh said.  "Some of these guys had dramatic rescues.  We had a fire fighter who ran into a burning home by himself to save a boy, a cop who saved a gunman’s hostage and another cop who jumped into a crocodile-infested river to save a woman.  But the public responded to Detective Tofte’s determined and persistent heroism as a defender of children.  I think it’s a response to what’s happened to Jessica Lunsford and Sarah Lunde in Florida and Jetseta Gage in Iowa.  People are paying attention, and they’re sick of seeing children abused and victimized."

Detective Tofte echoed Walsh’s sentiments, "I always think that things can’t get any worse than they are, and then a case comes along that’s even worse than the one before.  Sometimes, it just hurts my guts and I can’t sleep.  I hate that my job is necessary and I hate that there’s victims, but I love the fact that I can help give them justice.”

Tofte is a 38-year old mother. She started working as a police officer nine years ago and started working with the crimes against children unit five years ago.  She resides in the Wichita Falls area with her son and husband.

The other seven All Star Finalists were Officer Johnnie Bennett – Sunrise, Florida; Firefighter Darrell Coates – Altamonte Springs, Florida; Sergeant Hector Feliciano – Los Angeles, California; Fire Captain Dan Holloway- Rancho Cucamonga, California; Officer Tony Mace – Grants, New Mexico; Officer James Niggemeyer – Columbus, Ohio; and Volunteer. Firefighter Robert Sands – Thornville, Ohio.  More information on each finalist is available at www.amw.com.

AMERICA’S MOST WANTED: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK is in its 18th season and airs Saturdays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  AMERICA’S MOST WANTED: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK is produced by STF Productions, Inc. Lance Heflin is executive producer.

Topics: America's Most Wanted |

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2 Responses to “Detective Deanna Tofte Is Selected As America’s Most Wanted All Star”

  1. Eli Says:
    June 17th, 2005 at 11:06 am

    Family Law: He just needs a little horse sense knocked into him

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    By Eli El

    I hope that someday the justice system would be fair. Would most of us be happy if this was true? When we take time out to think about it, there will always be a party whom believes that the judge ruled fairly and another whom believes that they have been wronged. There are some cases where all parties do agree with the outcome. By definition “Fair” is that which is free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; or conforming to established standards or rules. For me fairness is what makes good common sense. Back in the day, when someone would do something stupid, some wise elder would say something similar to, “he hasn’t got the sense God gave little green apples” or “he just needs a little horse sense knocked into him.” As rational and logical citizens, we have some understanding as to what makes up common sense. Four years ago, I held the position of truck loader and unloader. I drove a 1985 Cutlass Supreme that barely ran. I also had a 2-year old Mazda that my ex-wife generally drove. Although the car note, registration, and insurance were in my name, I let her have that Mazda. She sold the car a year later and did not finish making the payments. Would it have been fair for me to have sold the car and split the little equity remaining leaving her and my child without a car? I believe that I acted fairly, although she reaped the benefit. My decision was not based on greed or emotions; it was based on “common sense.” I acted on what seemed reasonable. It was not fair for her to sell the car and not make payments on the vehicle. I was raised in The Church of God in Christ (www.cogic.org) and my religion teaches that I should always treat people fairly. On that note, there is a huge gap between Church and State. Let us really take a strong look at this…Once religion, whichever he or she practices, is removed from legislation and “The Law”, there may possibly be no boundaries to human behavior. Are we becoming a society without moral and ethical boundaries and at the same time developing laws which possibly send individuals to jail or even seize their homes? Where does it end? And you wonder why so many politicians fight hard to maintain this ever widening gap between Church and State. There are generally negative aspects of human existence that causes us not to be “fair” such as greed, hatred, voracity, lust, spite, nepotism, immorality, revenge, and even fear. Most religions teach us how to overcome these. Some of us believe that when our political system is not conducted fairly, that politicians benefit. As I listened to NPR last week, I heard of a report that expressed how a group of airline employees voted to take reductions in pay so that the airline would not go bankrupt. For those airline participants and stakeholders understood that this made good and logical common-sense. I have never heard of any group of politicians to have ever done the same.
    Most Americans work for a living. Many of us live from paycheck to paycheck. Politicians work for their pay as well. Churches, hospitals, and the political and justice systems are all service organizations. They serve in different ways, but each has an objective that includes service. Some of these have adapted strong business practices. These business practices have made some individuals wealthy. Whenever there is a fusion of money making endeavors with service to The People, there is a strong likelihood that the main focus may be compromised.
    “I’m going to rule in her favor so that I don’t upset…”
    “His company gives a lot to my campaign…”
    “Senator James is here so I am not going to say that…he is a strong contributor to our…”
    “I know her dad, so I’m going to rule in her favor.”
    “I’m getting a kickback from each Medicaid patient, so I’m voting yes on proposition 49.”
    “I’m going to institute more harsh penalties on them, because I’m about to run for District Judge.”

    Well, you get the point. What influence does the average American have in legislation? Can we truly impact the justice system? Why don’t we simply nominate and support individuals with common-sense as their focus? It’s almost impossible to convince a politician to sponsor bills and legislation that makes wholesome common-sense if she or he is already in office. Money is generally the only motivator…and you know what they say about money and root. Now, that is not fair. Family Law is really unfair, but what can motivate politicians to develop fair rules for Family Law? I am divorced with one child. Whenever my attorney conveys my argument (that seems to make common-sense), the judge in not impacted by this logical line of reasoning.

    I recently read a column by Tresa McBee. She wrote about a professional basketball player whom was not forced to pay $25,000 (15% of his income) each month to the mother of his child. Situation: Steve has a child whom resides in Arkansas. Steve makes $61,000 per year and lives in New York City. For anyone making 60K in NYC is barely making it living in a studio apartment. For someone making 61K in Arkansas, they are living “high on the hog.” They both are forced to pay the same amount of child support and not considering what is in the best interest of the child. Here is a simple scenario…The custodial parent can simply give 80% (which is almost impossible to prove) of the tax-free money to a boyfriend and not be held accountable for this selfish act of immorality. Is this fair? Again, as a Christian, I have been taught to treat people fairly. Some fathers can’t pay their own living expenses due to the high costs of child support. Many women are getting paid multiple kings’ ransoms for having children out of wedlock. Again I ask you, why do so many politicians want to widen the gap between Church and State? We can all do this…Immediately checkout http://www.kyfathers.org/stories/anonymous3.htm and http://www.restonweb.com/community/restontalk/messages010525/7685.html. I went back to school as an adult to complete my degree in Computer Science. I have no aspirations nor time to fight the system…I just want to be treated fairly…and yourself?

    © 2005 Eli El

    Comments may be sent to: eli_el@hotmail.com
    Eli El
    303 N. Summit Ave. #3A
    Gaithersburg, MD 20877-3169

  2. Anonymous Says:
    June 20th, 2005 at 7:53 pm

    Hello. I just wanted to give a quick greeting and tell you I enjoyed reading your material.



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