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.
- 132 line of duty deaths in 2019
- 307 LOD’s in 2020, including 16 in Florida
- 14 in 2021 including 1 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 Texas, Sergeant Randall Sims died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. In Washington D.C., Capitol Police Officer Brian David Sicknick died of injuries sustained in the attack on the Capitol. An Air Force Veteran David had served with the Capitol Police for 12 years. In Texas, In South Carolina, Deputy Jonathan Price died in an auto accident while on patrol. He’s survived by a wife and three children. In Texas, Lieutenant William Gardner died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and two children. In Iowa, Officer Steven Reighard died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and son. In Hillsborough County, Corporal Brian LaVigne was murdered when he was intentionally struck by a vehicle as he responded to a disturbance. He’s survived by a wife and two children. In Puerto Rico, Agents Luis Marrero-Diaz, Luis Salaman-Conde and Eliezer Hernandez-Cartagena were murdered was they responded to a vehicle accident. In South Carolina, Officer Melton Gore was struck by a vehicle while clearing road debris from a highway. In Virginia, Sergeant Frederick Cameron died of COVID-19 contracted on duty.
- The average age of the fallen, 48. The average tour of duty, 20 years.
As we reflect on those we’ve lost, please remember the families of our fallen as well. In addition to losing 14 law enforcement professionals in the line of duty this year, there are six widows and 13 children who’ve lost a parent.
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: Officer Down Memorial