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Florida Law Enforcement Memorial Honors the Fallen

April 26, 2022

Every day, men and women across the country and the state of Florida put their lives at risk through their service as law enforcement officers. They understand the danger of their position each time they put on their uniform, and their families recognize that every time they say goodbye could be their last.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, over 25,000 line-of-duty deaths in law enforcement have occurred since 1776. In 1991, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial located in Washington, D.C., was established to honor the sacrifice of these heroes.

Twenty years ago, in 2002, the late Buddy Phillips, who was executive director of the Florida Sheriffs Association at the time, had a vision for a permanent memorial wall honoring with the names of fallen sheriff’s deputies in Florida.

But it almost didn’t happen. Because FSA has a set operating budget that goes directly to programs that enhance law enforcement in all counties throughout the state, any special projects, such as the Law Enforcement Memorial, must be funded separately.

FSA members stepped up with significant contributions, but a year into the project Phillips announced that the association was $100,000 short of what was needed. More than 11,000 member individuals, families and businesses dug deeper, bridged the gap and made the FSA Law Enforcement Memorial a reality.

The memorial features a granite wall with the engraved names of the fallen officers. Currently, the names are 418 fallen heroes are engraved on the memorial wall. New names are engraved each year during an annual ceremony in late April at the FSA headquarters.

The memorial is also accompanied by a bronze sculpture that represents the impact their sacrifice has had on their colleagues and loved ones.

In 2017, the Florida Sheriffs Association was pleased to add a bronze K-9 sculpture to honor and memorialize all the brave K-9s killed in the line of duty.

Honoring the Fallen

Every year, the Florida Sheriffs Association honors fallen heroes who served and died in the line of duty in the state of Florida through a memorial service. Sheriffs, community leaders and the families of these heroes gather to honor their lives and sacrifice. In 2022, 30 men and women were honored during the 2022 FSA Memorial Ceremony. 

How to Get Involved

If you are interested in supporting the Florida Sheriffs Association’s efforts to honor and protect Florida’s law enforcement community, here are two ways you can get involved:

Visit the Memorial

The FSA Law Enforcement Memorial is located at the FSA headquarters in Tallahassee. If you are in the area, we encourage you to visit the memorial and meet our staff.

Support the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall

The need to support the maintenance of the FSA Law Enforcement Memorial Wall continues. FSA still depends on member donations to fund an annual service to add new names to the memorial and to maintain the wall, sculpture and memorial gardens. Through an online donation to the Florida Sheriffs Association, you have the opportunity to contribute to the Memorial Wall.

For more information about the memorial at the Florida Sheriffs Association, or to find more information about our fallen heroes, click here.