Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 15, 2020
On May 14, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis directed that flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day.
On October 1, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed the bill that designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day. Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week are observed each year to honor federal, state, and local peace officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall, located in Washington, DC, has over 21,000 names engraved of these valiant law enforcement officers who have sacrificed their lives for the citizens of our great nation.
DeSantis directed, “To honor and show gratitude for their service, I hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the State of Florida from sunrise to sunset on Friday, May 15, 2020.”
The City of Fernandina Beach at their May 5, 2020 Regular Meeting also issued a Proclamation proclaiming May 15, 2020, as “Peace Officers Memorial Day” and the week of May 10, 2020, as “National Police Week.” The City Proclamation read in part:
WHEREAS, the members of our law enforcement agencies play an essential role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the citizens of our country; and
WHEREAS, it is important that all Florida citizens understand the unique challenges and responsibilities of their Police Department, and that members of our agency fully recognize their duty to serve the people by protecting life and property, by standing up against violence and disorder, and by shielding the innocent and the weak against oppression or intimidation; and
WHEREAS, Police Departments in Florida have properly evolved into professional organizations, utilizing scientific and computerized methods as the basis for effective community- based policing strategies and policy mandates, while embracing diversity and fairness as fundamental organizational principals; and
WHEREAS, Police Chief James “Frank” Surrency was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1930, while serving the citizens of Fernandina; and
WHEREAS, by their faithful and loyal devotion to duty, our local peace officers have established an enviable and enduring legacy of public service that is cherished by our community and is woven into the fabric of our history.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Commission of the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida, that we call upon all Florida police agencies and municipalities to observe Friday, May 15, 2020, as:
“PEACE OFFICERS MEMORIAL DAY”
and the week of May 10, 2020, as:
“NATIONAL POLICE WEEK”
in honor of those peace officers who, through their courageous deeds, have lost their lives or have become disabled in the performance of their duty.