TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Thirty names were added to the Florida Sheriff's Association's memorial wall that lists officers who died in the line of duty.
One of those names is Deputy Michael Nowak of the Leon County Sheriff's Office. He died in August 2021 and was a correctional deputy with the department.
Also on the wall is Deputy Brian Faison with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office. He died due to COVID-19 complications in January 2021.
Colonel Bobby Collins of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office grew up with Deputy Faison.
"If you know Brian, he was a people's person, so his name is forever etched in history and Florida Sheriff's Association Folklore and he's going to be forever remembered at the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office," Collins said.
President of the Florida Sheriff's Association and Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said this year's addition of names is the largest one they've ever had, adding that he estimates around half of those deputies died from COVID-19 complications.
"It's been a terrible year," said Sheriff McCallum. "We all know what we've been through with COVID and all, and this is a result of it today."
With hundreds of deputies from across the state paying their respects to their fallen colleagues and friends, Sheriff McCallum is grateful for how supportive the law enforcement community has been to each other
"We were honored today to be able to honor our families that have been left behind for those who have given their all."
Colonel Collins also told ABC 27 that the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office will be retiring Deputy Faison's service number later in the year.