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.
- 491 line-of-duty deaths in 2021 including 50 in Florida
2021 was the deadliest year for law enforcement in Florida’s history. The same was true across the country as the US set a record for LODs for the 2nd consecutive year. This included a staggering 60% increase in line-of-duty deaths in 2021. Given the remarkable rise in LODs in recent years, it’s as important to support law enforcement as it's ever been, as the job of protecting us is as dangerous as it’s ever been. We’ve lost these heroes thus far in 2022.
- In Texas, Officer Chris Gibson died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and two children.
- In New Mexico, Deputy Bryan Vannatta died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and two children.
- In Georgia, Officer Richard Tostenson died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and two children.
- In North Carolina, Captain Reginald Smith died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and four children.
- In Illinois, Deputy Michael Queeney died of COVID-19 contracted on duty. He’s survived by a wife and five children.
- In California, Officer Fernando Arroyos (pictured) was murdered when he was ambushed by three suspects.
- In Connecticut, Officer Diane Gonzalez died in an accident while responding to an emergency call. Diane’s survived by three children.
As we reflect on those we’ve lost, please remember the families of our fallen as well. The average age of the fallen is 43, the average tour of duty – 16 years. In addition to losing 8 law enforcement professionals in the line of duty this year, there are 6 widows and 23 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.