Thomas M. Coulter
Having only graduated from the police academy at Daytona State College in 2017, Thomas M. Coulter was beginning to live out his dream of being a police officer when hired by the Daytona Beach Police Department in 2018.
Thomas M. Coulter was born January 29, 1993 in New Jersey to parents Ann and Michael Coulter. He later earned his high school diploma and A.A. degree in 2011, finishing early with the assistance of dual enrollment credits. He was to later attend the University of Central Florida.
Coulter began his recruit training on May 14, 2018 after passing a preemployment physical with the Daytona Beach Police Department. On the morning of Friday, May 18, Coulter, along with twenty-three other recruits and three trainers, were participating in what police chief Craig Capri said was a team building exercise. This was was jogging and walking exercise that included stops for pushups and stretching. The group was moving at the speed of the slowest participant.
Around 8:00 a.m. Coulter collapsed during training. He was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center where doctors initially believed he would recover. His condition began to decline on Saturday the 19th and he passed away at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, May 21. Autopsy reports would later show the Coulter died of a heart attack.
Fellow recruits were allowed that Monday off training but were required to return on Tuesday morning. DBPD provided counseling for those in need.
According to Chief Capri, Coulter had made no complaint of discomfort or feeling ill before collapsing and as noted prior, had passed the required physical. Capri stated that Coulter was in “average shape” for a 25 year old.
Chief Capri was quoted in the local newspaper, “This young man, all he wanted to do was be a police officer. Talking with the family he wanted to be a police officer. That was his life’s dream, since he was a little kid. That was his goal and he did meet his goal.”
His memorial service was held at the News-Journal Center in downtown Daytona Beach. The service was attended by law enforcement officers from numerous agencies and then Florida governor Rick Scott. Capri stated, “I’m just very proud of the community, the support of the community. And we had police officers from all over.”
Thomas Coulter left behind a wife of only six months, Jazmin, his parents, a brother, Mikey, and sisters Sandy and Bridgette, along with extended family members.
Officer Coulter is buried at Daytona Memorial Pak in the Hero’s Garden of Glory section. His marker includes the words, Have a Great Day Officer Coulter.
Officer Coulter is memorialized on the Law Enforcement Memorial Volusia and Flagler Counties located adjacent to the Historic Courthouse in DeLand, FL.
An online memorial for Officer Coulter may be found HERE.
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