TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida Police Chiefs Association and Florida Sheriffs Association issued a joint proclamation Tuesday, announcing September as a month to remember the state’s fallen law enforcement officers.
Both associations encourage officers to wear mourning bands throughout the month to honor the officers who died in Florida in 2021.
“Law enforcement officers understand their oath of service means sacrifice. Over the past 18 months, that’s meant willingly exposing themselves to COVID-19 in the line of duty, and potentially exposing their families when they return home,” said FPCA president and Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department Director Stephan Dembinsky.
COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for Florida law enforcement for 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. It was also the leading cause of death for law enforcement in 2020.
More than 220 law enforcement officers in the United States have died in the line of duty, including over 115 officers who succumbed as a result of COVID-19.
Law enforcement officers serve their communities daily, and often are exposed to COVID-19 in the line of duty; they may expose their families when they return home.
“So far this year, 21 officers gave all and made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives, including 14 who died from COVID-19, which is more than last year at this time,” Dembinsky said. “Now, to honor and remember their fallen colleagues, the Florida Police Chiefs Association calls on all law enforcement to wear mourning bands the entire month of September and publicly salute the service of all fallen law enforcement officers in the state of Florida."
View the full proclamation below.