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Law Enforcement Memorial

May 5th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

Police officers in Florida died in the line of duty at the rate of more than one a month last year. This morning, the 16 officers who perished in 2007 were enshrined on a memorial at the State Capitol. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the good news so far this year, is that the trend of increasing deaths has been reversed. :

They come once a year in full regalia to pay tribute to their fallen brothers and sisters.

The officers bring their tears, their children, and they bring dedication. Florida lost 16 officers in the line of duty during 2007. It was one of the deadliest years in recent history.

This alarming trend of assaults and deaths upon the guardians of public safety must be reversed, James Preston, President of the Fraternal Order of Police said.

Governor Charlie Crist says each of them heroes.

Public safety is the most important reason government exists, Crist said. The founding fathers placed it in our constitution that we should ensure domestic tranquility. Those that we honor today did that more than anyone.

Tighter budgets in the coming year will mean doing more with less for these officers.

If there is good news, it is that last years deadly trend has so far been reversed, with only one officer dying in the line of duty this year.

Since record keeping began, 688 officers in Florida have been killed in the line of duty.

During the ceremony today, Governor Charlie Crist signed an executive order allowing state agencies to use the Amber Alert system in the state to broadcast pictures and descriptions of criminals. The hope is the public will respond by telling police when they see someone who is wanted.

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