Protecting the Palm Beaches – a tribute to those who serve and sacrificed

Protecting the Palm Beaches – a tribute to those who serve and sacrifice for August 23rd                 

Bottom Line: This weekly feature is designed to recognize those who've paid the ultimate price to serve their communities and to serve as a reminder of what our police risk to keep us safe. We highlight a remarkable effort by local law enforcement each week. Joel Malkin brings you the perspective in local news from leaders in local law enforcement.                                          

I bring you the unfortunate news you need to know:                                              

  • 128 police officers died in the line of duty in 2017                            

  • 98 officers have fallen in 2018                       

  • 9 of the officers we've lost served in Florida                                         

Due to vacation it's been a couple of weeks since I provided an update and the news isn’t good. We’ve had an especially deadly couple of weeks losing six more officers including our ninth fallen officer in Florida – the most of any state in the country.  

In Nevada, corrections officer Kyle Lawrence died of a heart attack immediately after a struggle with an inmate who attacked him. In Oklahoma, investigator Timothy Dale Cole was murdered as he attempted to serve a search warrant. He’s survived by a wife and three children. In California, officer Kirk Griess was killed while he was conducting a traffic stop. Prior to his service in law enforcement he served in the Marines. He left behind a wife and three children. In Michigan, officer Fadi Shukur was killed when he was stuck by a hit-and-run vehicle outside of a night club. He was a Navy veteran as well and left behind a wife. In New York, officer Kathleen O’Connor a first responder on 9/11, died of cancer attributed to service on 9/11. She’s survived by a husband and three children. In Clay County, officer Ben Zirbel died in a motorcycle accident when he collided with a truck who turned in front of him. He left behind a wife and a son.  

  • Six more officers lost. Five more widows. Ten more children who lost a parent.  

Too often there are untold stories of the people who've sacrificed their lives in service of their communities. This is our small part to attempt to recognize those who've sacrificed the most for our safety. The average age of the officers at the time of their death was 40. The average length of time they'd served at the time of their passing is 12 years and two months.      

Remember to back the badge and spread the word. The media often aren't there for our law enforcement, but we can be. Let our police, and their families, know we support them every chance you get. They need it, now more than ever, just as we need them more than ever.       

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