On May 1st and May 2nd 2011, members of the Cape Coral Honor Guard- Corporal Kelvin Thompkins, Officer 1st Class Nickolas Slover, Officer 1st Class Jennifer Silko, and Officer 1st Class Jamie Bungard, attended the 29th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service held at the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida.

The services started at 8:00 PM on May 1st, in the courtyard of the Capitol building, where a candlelight service was held to honor of the nine Florida Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty in 2010. Additionally honored were six Florida Law Enforcement Officers, previously not recognized, with one dating back to 1915.

2010 Fallen Officers:

James L. Anderson, St. Johns County Sheriffs Office
EOW - January 14, 2010

Chad A. Reed, Sr., Dixie County Sheriffs Office
EOW - January 14, 2010

Patrick Ambrise, Florida Highway Patrol
EOW - May 15, 2010

Melissa J. Powers, Monroe County Sheriffs Office
EOW - June 22, 2010

David L. Curtis, Tampa Police Department
EOW - June 29, 2010

Jefferey A. Kocab, Tampa Police Department
EOW - June 29, 2010

Mark A. Longway, Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office
EOW - September 21, 2010

Brandon L. Coates, Orange County Sheriffs Office
EOW - December 8, 2010

Wesley R. Whitmore, Jr., Polk County Sheriffs Office
EOW - December 12, 2010

Past Years Officer Recognized for the First Time

Joseph S. Walker, Port Tampa Police Department
EOW - September 25, 1915

Everett E. Blewfield, Tarpon Springs Police Department
EOW - August 16, 1926

Carl Strickland, Naples Police Department
EOW - November 6, 1954

William C. Rigby, Escambia County District Four
EOW - September 4, 1955

Jimmie R. Moore, Sebring Police Department
EOW - June 30, 1976

Kenneth S. Bladwin, Okaloosa County Airport Police
EOW - September 11, 1987

On May 2nd officers from around the State assembled in full dress uniform and marched in to the State Capitol once again for the formal ceremony in which guest speakers included the Governor, State Attorney General, and Chief Jane Castor, Tampa Police Department (which lost two officers last year). There was a twenty-one gun salute, the playing of taps, a helicopter fly over, and of course, the gut-wrenching bag pipes.

All officers were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by the State which was given to their family members. An interesting note is that, there was much effort to find family members of the past six never-before recognized officers. When a blood-family member could not be located, a member of the officer's department stepped up and accepted the award, signifying that no matter what, we are all a law enforcement family and we will never let them be forgotten.

Also in attendance was Detective Kurtis Grau and Corporal Robert Slager. All officers attending, represented the Cape Coral Police Department, City of Cape Coral, and the citizens of Cape Coral admirably, and with the utmost respect. When you are at ceremony such as this, survivors of the fallen officers are present. Inevitably, someone will stop you and simply say "thank you" for being there, to honor their loved one, to continue to doing the dangerous job we do, and for making sure that their loved ones are never forgotten for the sacrifices they made to protect their community.

The Cape Coral Police Department is honored to be given the opportunity to represent the Police Department, our City, and our citizens.