Tallahassee – The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) and the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) are designating the month of September 2020, to honor the service and sacrifice of Florida law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2020, including those who have succumbed to COVID-19 while protecting our communities, and raise awareness of the specific ongoing threat to officers from the COVID-19 virus.
“This year, Florida has already witnessed 15 fallen heroes, including 12 who died from COVID-19,” said Chief Jeff Pearson, president of the FPCA chief of the Satellite Beach Police Department.
Said Pearson, “Law enforcement officers traditionally wear mourning bands on their service badges to honor and remember their fallen colleagues. The Florida Police Chiefs Association calls on all law enforcement to wear their mourning bands during the entire month of September to publicly salute the service of all fallen law enforcement officers in the state of Florida.”
“Our fallen deputies epitomize the very best of us as they have served dutifully and given the ultimate sacrifice,” said Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz, president of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “While we honor and remember them daily, the world together honors them in September as we mourn each lost hero. With our law enforcement partners across the state, the Sheriffs of Florida solemnly salute each and every law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty.”
Overall, 169 law enforcement officers in the United States have died in the line of duty this year, including 91 officers who succumbed to COVID-19. This is a 67% increase from last year according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Said Pearson, “Law enforcement officers willingly expose themselves to COVID-19 in the line of duty, and they expose their families when they return home. The Florida Police Chiefs Association is grateful for the sacrifice of law enforcement officers who protect those they serve, even at risk to themselves and their families.”
The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) is the nation’s pre-eminent law enforcement professional association, speaking for more than 900 of Florida’s top law enforcement executives, and providing guidance and leadership for the future of law enforcement and our communities. The FPCA serves municipal, airport, college and university, and tribal police departments, as well as private businesses and security firms and federal, state and county law enforcement agencies across every region of the state. For more information about the FPCA, please visit www.fpca.com.
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 90,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has steadfastly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state’s law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs’ Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit www.flsheriffs.org.