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. Here are the harsh realities regarding the rise risk in society for law enforcement.
- 307 LOD’s in 2020, including 16 in Florida
- 46 in 2021 including 6 in Florida
Last year was the deadliest for law enforcement since 1932. We’re in an especially dangerous moment due to the defund police movement advanced by political opportunists against the backdrop of a pandemic which has been the leading cause of death for law enforcement most recently. We’ve lost these heroes since the previous update.
In New York, Sergeant William Brautigam died of cancer attributed to his service as a first responder at Ground Zero on 9/11. He’s survived by a wife and two children. In Pennsylvania, Deputy Ross Dixon died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and four children. Also in Pennsylvania, Police Chief Timothy Sheehan died of a heart attack after an emergency call in which he successfully administered CPR. He’s survived by a wife and three children. In Texas, Officer Mitchell Penton was stuck by a drunk driver while on patrol. He’s survived by a pregnant wife. In Pinellas County, Deputy Michael Magli was struck and killed by a drunk driver while attempting to apprehend the driver. He’s survived by a wife and two children.
- The average age of the fallen, 50. The average tour of duty, 21 years.
As we reflect on those we’ve lost, please remember the families of our fallen as well. In addition to losing 46 law enforcement professionals in the line of duty this year, there are 21 widows and 49 children who’ve lost a parent. Line of duty deaths are 119% higher than last year’s historically high levels.
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.
Photo Credit: Getty Images