Broward County

The final words for a fallen deputy: ‘Walk the beat on heaven street’

The hearse carrying the remains of Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Benjamin Nimtz arrives at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019.
The hearse carrying the remains of Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Benjamin Nimtz arrives at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. South Florida Sun Sentinel

Benjamin Nimtz had planned to tell his squad at the end of his shift that he was leaving the Broward Sheriff’s Office to move to Indiana.

The 30-year-old deputy never got the chance.

Nimtz died at 3 a.m. July 21 when his police cruiser collided with a truck in Deerfield Beach.

His supervisor, Capt. Rodney Brimlow, told the story Thursday during a nearly two-hour memorial service at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale held for the BSO deputy and Army veteran.

“He told me how much he loved being a deputy,” Brimlow said, adding he was shocked when he saw Nimtz’s resignation letter. “He was so excited and looking forward to a new life that was right in front of him.”

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The Fort Lauderdale Police Department mounted patrol arrives for the funeral of Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Benjamin Nimtz at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale. Joe Cavaretta South Florida Sun Sentinel

Nimtz was headed to a domestic violence call with his lights and sirens on when his cruiser collided with a Toyota Tundra. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Thursday’s memorial began with a procession from West Palm Beach to Fred Hunter’s funeral home in Hollywood to Calvary Chapel.

Several thousand people — many representing law enforcement agencies from South Florida and across the country — filled the chapel to pay respects to Nimtz, who was described by several of his friends as a “man of few words.”

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The hearse carrying the remains of Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Benjamin Nimtz arrives at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale on Aug. 1, 2019. Joe Cavaretta South Florida Sun Sentinel

“When he opened his mouth you know he had something slick to say,” said his BSO partner and friend Roberto Ramon.

Through stories, prayer and song, Nimtz was remembered as a family man who loved his wife and two young children, and a man who loved to serve.

After a flag presentation and a 21-gun salute, the sound of a dispatcher’s voice on police radio could be heard.

“Deputy Nimtz,

May the road rise up to meet you;

May the wind always be at your back;

May the sunshine warm upon your face;

And the rains fall softly upon your fields.

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Rest in peace my dear brother;

As you walk the beat on heaven street.

We promise to keep your watch until we meet again.

Deputy Benjamin Nimtz, uniform 18634 is 10-7.”

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
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