ST. PETERSBURG — Officer Doug Weaver risked his life to try to rescue two fellow officers killed in a deadly 2011 standoff with a fugitive hiding in an attic. He's already been awarded the city's Medal of Valor. Now comes this honor: Weaver was named the 2011 Officer of the Year on Tuesday.
Weaver, 47, will be honored at a luncheon and ceremony at noon Thursday at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave. Mayor Bill Foster and police Chief Chuck Harmon will present Weaver the award, which is co-sponsored by the Exchange Club of St. Petersburg and the Charles A. Patterson and Odette W. Patterson Charitable Trust.
Weaver has been with the department for 23 years. He's worked in patrol and street narcotics and is a community service officer. He also serves on the Pinellas County Violent Crimes Task Force, a joint operation of St. Petersburg police officers and Pinellas sheriff's deputies that targets guns and violent offenders. And he is a member of the St. Petersburg SWAT team.
When K-9 Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz was fatally shot and Deputy U.S. Marshal Scott Ley was injured while trying to arrest a suspect hiding in an attic on Jan. 24, 2011, Weaver was on the team that went in to rescue them.
Weaver came under fire reaching into the attic to grab Yaslowitz's boot. Sgt. Thomas Baitinger, who entered with Weaver, was fatally wounded during the rescue attempt. Weaver carried Baitinger and the wounded marshal out of the house, then later led the SWAT team back inside to free Yaslowitz. The suspect was found dead hours later after a long gunbattle. Numerous St. Petersburg officers were honored for their actions on that day.