Protecting The Palm Beaches, A Tribute To Fallen Police Officers
Bottom Line: This weekly feature is designed to recognize those who've paid the ultimate price in service 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
- 198 in 2021 including 11 in Florida
Last year was the deadliest for law enforcement since 1932. We’re in an especially dangerous moment in our country’s history due to the effort of political operatives to politicize law enforcement. Officer involved shooting deaths are 35% below average, however line-of-duty deaths have reached record levels. The facts simply don’t meet the anti-police narrative. We’ve lost these heroes since the previous update.
In Missouri, Sergeant Sonny Orbin died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. A Navy veteran he’s survived by four children. In Georgia, Officer Clinton Martin died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. A Marine veteran, he’s survived by a wife and three children. In West Virginia, Officer Michael Sillman died of a heart attack while attempting to serve an arrest warrant. In Missouri, Officer Robert Welch III died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and three children. In Nebraska, Deputy Justin Smith died from COVID-19 contracted on duty. Justin was an Army Reserve veteran. In Texas, Lieutenant Gilbert McClure died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and two children. In Texas, Border Patrol Agent Edgardo Acosta-Feliciano died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. An Army veteran he’s survived by a wife and three children. In Kentucky, Deputy Brandon Shirley was murdered in an ambush while sitting in his vehicle. In Illinois, Officer Ella French was murdered while conducting a traffic stop.
- The average age of the fallen, 47. The average tour of duty, 17 years.
As we reflect on those we’ve lost, please remember the families of our fallen as well. In addition to losing 198 law enforcement professionals in the line of duty this year, there are 92 widows and 235 children who’ve lost a parent. Line of duty deaths are 9% lower than last year’s historically high levels, however according to the National Fraternal Order of Police, ambush attacks on police officers have risen by greater than 90% this year.
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.