TALLAHASSEE-- Seven more names were added to Florida’s police memorial after losing their lives in the line of duty. Monday’s ceremonies happened just days after a state trooper was killed, leaving an open wound for law enforcement across the state.
Florida law enforcement officers have been honoring the ones who lost their lives in the line of duty for 32 years.
“These are not just names without faces, these names represent Florida’s bravest, our finest brothers and sisters,” James Preston, the Fraternal Order of Police President, said.
There are 771 names on the memorial. Seven were added Monday. William and Candy Morales paid tribute to their son. Sergeant Gary Morales was shot and killed during a traffic stop last year.
“He’s honored along with all the others, all the other law enforcement people that passed away, it’s just a good feeling. And then of course it brings back memories that hurt.”
The ceremony comes just days after Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard was killed while working a crash on I-75.
Richard was responding to a crash near Ocala on the side of the road. Another accident near the original killed Richard and two others. Attorney General Pam Bondi said the tragedy is a reminder for Floridians.
“If you see an accident, move over, stop, change lanes, we have to do everything we can to protect our citizens and our law enforcement officers.”
While the list of names on the memorial keeps getting longer, many hoped for the day when there would be no need for the ceremony.
Florida’s crime rate dipped to a 43 year low this past year.