Florida Sheriffs Association Honors Fallen Officers at Ceremony
(See below for slide show)
Tallahassee, FL (May 5, 2014) – Today, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) honored all 350 officers, including seven new officers whose names were recently etched on the FSA Memorial Wall. Attorney General Pam Bondi joined FSA Executive Director Steve Casey, FSA President Sheriff Grady Judd and sheriffs from across the state at the FSA Memorial Wall to pay tribute to the men and women who died while serving their communities.
Law enforcement officers go to work everyday and put their lives on the line to protect our rights and freedoms, and the month of May is dedicated to remembering all those who gave their lives in the line of duty – these officers made the ultimate sacrifice for Floridians and their communities.
“We were honored to have Attorney General Pam Bondi as our keynote speaker today as she and her staff has been instrumental in supporting law enforcement,” said Executive Director Steve Casey. “We are grateful for the opportunity to pay our respects to these fallen officers and their families.”
"It was an honor to join the Florida Sheriffs Association to celebrate the memories of our sheriff's deputies who have sacrificed their lives for the safety of others,” said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Florida's law enforcement officers serve the public with great personal sacrifice and selfless dedication. My prayers remain with those who have been killed in the line of duty and with those who bravely serve our state each day."
Today’s ceremony honored the ultimate sacrifice made by seven deputies whose names were added to the Memorial Wall for this ceremony. Family members and sheriffs from their counties were also recognized. The hundreds in attendance paid a special tribute to the sheriff's deputies who lost their lives in the line of duty with a moment of silence as a riderless horse was led across the memorial. Honored were:
- Baker County Deputy Sheriff Rufus “Rufe” Thrift – end of watch September 17, 1904 (gunfire)
- Broward County Deputy Daniel Rivera – end of watch September 21, 2013 (automobile accident)
- Charlotte County Sergeant Michael Wilson – end of watch August 5,2013 (gunfire)
- Miami-Dade Officer Giovanni Gonzalez – end of watch June 16, 2009 (traffic accident)
- Orange County Detective Michael Erickson – end of watch March 16, 2011 (heart attack)
- Polk County Master Deputy Joseph “Shane” Robbins – end of watch April 26, 2013 (traffic accident)
- St. Lucie County Sergeant Gary Morales – end of watch February 28, 2013 (gunfire)
The FSA Memorial Wall provided a wonderful background for today’s ceremony as it represents the dedication of Florida’s Sheriffs' Offices. The wall, established in 2002, was created to honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty. Each day that our sheriffs and deputies dedicate themselves to protecting Floridians is a day for us to remember those who have passed.
Find more information on the FSA website memorial page.