The Orlando police department is in mourning after a shooter Monday gunned down one of its officers and a sheriff’s deputy died in the manhunt for the suspect. Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared the week first responder appreciation week.
“This tragic shooting serves as a sobering reminder of how important it is for each of us to take every opportunity—every opportunity—to thank every law enforcement officer across the state,” Scott says.
It’s the second time in a matter of days Scott has dealt with a highly publicized shooting. Friday a gunman opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“Today is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, but instead of celebrating we are mourning," says Florida Police Chiefs Association President and Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal. "We have lost two members of our family and we are not just grieving; we are angry. Angry for the brokenness Master Sgt. Clayton’s and the deputy's colleagues, family and friends are experiencing. Angry that another Orlando police officer has been gravely injured in this same situation. Angry that our profession is under attack. Angry that this violence is not only tearing apart communities but is also potentially keeping good men and women from joining the ranks of the protectors.
We have seen far too many losses over the past months. Florida’s police officers put their lives on the line every single day to protect their communities. We implore our local, state and federal leaders to take a stand against the violence and we appreciate those who have already done so.”
*Updated with comment from the Florida Police Chiefs Association.