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 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
- 371 in 2021 including 31 in Florida
Last year was the deadliest for law enforcement on record, emphasis on was. Entering October, we’d already exceeded last year’s historically high line-of-duty death totals. We’re in an especially dangerous moment in our country’s history due to the pandemic and efforts of political operatives to politicize law enforcement.
We’ve lost these heroes since the previous update. In New Mexico, Undersheriff Jeffrey Montoya died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. An Air Force veteran, he’s survived by three children. In Georgia, Sergeant Richard McMahan died of a heart attack during a training program. He’s survived by a wife and two children. In Arizona, Officer Anthony Nicoletti died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and three children. In North Carolina, Lieutenant William McMurtray, III died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. A Marine Corps veteran, he’s survived by a wife and three children. In California, Officer Toamalama Scanlan was murdered while responding to gunfire in the lobby of a prison. He’s survived by a wife and six children. In Kentucky, Deputy Oliver Little died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by two children. In Texas, Sergeant Raquel Saunders died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. She’s survived by four children. In Texas, Deputy Kareem Atkins was murdered while responding to a robbery. He’s survived by a wife and two children. In Hollywood, Officer Yandy Chirino (pictured) was murdered while responding to a suspicious person call. In North Carolina, Officer Ryan Hayworth was killed by a drunk driver while on patrol. Ryan was an Army veteran, In Iowa, Trooper Ted Benda died in an accident while on patrol. He’s survived by a wife and four children.
- 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 371 law enforcement professionals in the line of duty this year, there are 192 widows and 519 children who’ve lost a parent. Line of duty deaths are 31% 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.