Tampa Police Memorial Service Remembers Heroes - First Time TPD Includes Candle Light Vigil in Event

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WHAT: 21-Gun Salute, Tampa Police Aviation Flyover, Candle Lighting, Thin Blue Line Tribute

WHEN: Friday, May 4, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Tampa Police Downtown Headquarters, 411 North Franklin Street, Tampa

Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chief Jane Castor will pay tribute to all fallen officers with a traditional ceremony that now includes a new candle light vigil and the lighting of a blue laser representing the thin blue line. The Thin Blue Line represents the small amount of police officers, dressed in blue, standing between the criminal element and the law abiding citizens. The blue laser will shine across Lykes Gaslight Park. The annual event also recognizes the families who lost their loved ones in the line of duty. The public is invited to join the men and women of the Tampa Police Department as they honor the 31 officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty in the history of the department.

Florida and National Statistics
• On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 53 hours.
• 40 officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2012 in the US.
• On May 10th, 5 Tampa Police Officers and one retired TPD officer will ride in the Police Unity Tour in memory of TPD’s fallen officers. The Police Unity Tour is a three-day, 250-mile bike ride from Virginia to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.
• 3 Florida officers have died this year in the line of duty compared to 10 at the same time in 2011
• Law Enforcement Officer Deaths, Preliminary 2012 Numbers as of May 2, 2012

                                2012                  2011                      % Change
Total Deaths               40                      68                            -41%
Firearms-related         15                       33                            -55%
Traffic-related             14                      19                             -26%
Other Causes              11                      16                             -31%

Officer Irene Thomas