The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) and the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) are again this year designating the month of September to honor the service and sacrifice of Florida law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2021. Sadly, this includes the growing number of those who have succumbed to COVID-19 while protecting our communities. We continue to raise awareness of the ongoing threat to law enforcement from COVID-19.
“Law enforcement officers understand their oath of service means sacrifice. Over the past 18 months, that’s meant willingly exposing themselves to COVID-19 in the line of duty, and potentially exposing their families when they return home,” said FPCA president and Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department Director Stephan Dembinsky.
“So far this year, 21 officers gave all and made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives, including 14 who died from COVID-19, which is more than last year at this time,” said Dembinsky, “Now, to honor and remember their fallen colleagues, the Florida Police Chiefs Association calls on all law enforcement to wear mourning bands the entire month of September and publicly salute the service of all fallen law enforcement officers in the state of Florida.”
“Alongside our law enforcement partners, the sheriffs of Florida salute those who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” said Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “We will never forget those who bravely served their community and gave the ultimate sacrifice. We look to the entire nation to join us in honoring these heroes throughout this September recognition.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It takes a special person to take the oath and wear a badge. When we lose one of these heroes, it wounds every member of Florida’s strong law enforcement family. In Florida, we back our officers and when we grieve, we grieve together, vowing to never forget the contributions each and every one of our fallen officers has made to the safety and strength of our state.”
More than 220 law enforcement officers in the United States have died in the line of duty, including over 115 officers who succumbed as a result of COVID-19. Law enforcement officers serve their communities daily, and often are exposed to COVID-19 in the line of duty; they may expose their families when they return home. The FPCA and FSA are grateful for the sacrifice of law enforcement officers who protect those they serve, even at risk to themselves and their families.
Sheriff Bill Prummell stated ” Each and every day, our Law Enforcement Officers risk their safety as they patrol the streets of their communities. Now in the midst of the Corona Virus Pandemic and it’s exposure, their families are also at risk. Let’s stand together in support of these brave men and women as we honor their service and their commitment to our great nation”