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Florida's Fallen Officers Honored At Memorial Wall Ceremony

Three more names are now a part of a Memorial Wall in Tallahassee honoring the officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi joined law enforcement officers Monday in paying tribute to three officers who died last year.

Five members of the law enforcement community fired off three rounds each to honor the three officers, one woman and two men, who lost their lives last year.

They fired the shots during a memorial ceremony led by Florida Sheriff’s Association President and Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton.

“We enjoy inviting people to the Florida sheriff’s Headquarters. But, today’s a different day.  It’s a special occasion. Today we gather here to give tribute to the sheriff’s and deputy sheriffs who have given their lives in the line of duty," said Benton.

Benton says one way the sheriff’s choose to honor the fallen is through the group’s Memorial Wall in Tallahassee.

“When this monument was built in 2002, there were 263 names inscribed on the wall. Today, we have 346 names, with 59 of our 67 counties in Florida having at least one name on the wall,” Benton added.

“We have lost way too many law enforcement officers in our state. Five of those deaths since January 1, 2012 were deputies, as well as Koda, a K-9 dog who actually took a bullet to protect and save his partner," said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Bondi, who also participated in the ceremony, named the honored officers lost last year as well as this year.

“Deputy Christopher Schuab from Broward, Deputy Barbara Pill from Brevard—I feel like I was just at her funeral yesterday it seems like—Detective David White from Clay County. And, next year, added to the Memorial will be Deputy Shane Robbins from Polk County, and Deputy Gary Morales. Deputy Morales was the last funeral that I attended, and I still remember looking in his beautiful little girl’s eyes, thinking ‘how are they going to survive this for the rest of their lives?’ And, I just pray it gets easier for everyone,” added Bondi.

Two of the honored officers lost their lives to gunfire and another in a motorcycle accident. Bondi says given law enforcement officers daily sacrifices, she asks that Florida residents also do their part in honoring those living today.

“The next time that you see a man or a woman wearing a badge, just walk up to them and say thank you. You do not know how much that will be appreciated. There is no greater example of love and commitment than protecting others. I am eternally grateful to each man and woman in law enforcement for what you do for our state every day of you lives. Thank you so much.”

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.