Protecting the Palm Beaches – a tribute to those who serve and sacrifice
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.
- 132 line of duty deaths in 2019
- 200 LOD’s in 2020, including 13 in Florida
It’s as sad as it is instructive that we’ve already lost more law enforcement professionals in the line of duty this year, than in total, last year. We created this series several years ago to create awareness about the risk and regular sacrifices made by law enforcement. I felt this was necessary because anti-police rhetoric and activism which led to an increase in violence against law enforcement. That’s culminated with murder having become the most common form of death and biggest risk our police face day in and day out. We’re in an especially dangerous moment due to the defund police movement advanced by political opportunists. Opportunists who also are working to undermine confidence in law enforcement and strip them of the resources and protections needed to keep us safe. Most of our police do heroic things daily which go unnoticed. Their sacrifice is rarely covered by news media, but the risk is real day in and day out. Perhaps more now than ever. We’ve lost these heroes since the previous update.
In Palm Beach County, Deputy Maurice Ford died of COVID-19 traced to his service at the West Detention Center in Belle Galde, he’s survived by his wife and son. In Puerto Rico, Sergeant Mayra Rodriguez-Burgado died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. She’s survived by her husband and two daughters. In Texas, Corporal Charles Holt died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and three sons. In New York Detective Peter Gianfrancesco died of cancer attributed to his service at Ground Zero on 9/11. He’s survived by a wife and daughter. In California, Detective Jose Mora died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and four children. In North Carolina, Deputy Ryan Hendrix was murdered while responding to an emergency call. A Marine veteran, Ryan is survived by two children. Also, in Palm Beach County, Deputy Angela Chavers died of COVID-19 traced to her service at the Main Detention Center. She’s survived by her son.
- The average age of the fallen, 47. The average tour of duty, 16 years.
As we reflect on those we’ve lost, please remember the families of our fallen as well. In addition to losing 200 law enforcement professionals in the line of duty this year, there are 113 widows and 272 children who’ve lost a parent.
Line of duty deaths are 90% higher year to date reflecting the increased risk to law enforcement in our society today. Remember to back the badge and spread the word. 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.