Throughout the history of the Hollywood Police Department, eight officers have died in the line of duty. On Friday, the department remembered all of those officers, along with a canine officer and another fallen comrade.
Community members, family, police and retired officers gathered in front of the Hollywood Police Department to honor the lives, gone too soon.
"My husband died for something he believed,” said Suellen, widow of fallen officer Henry Minard. “Something he really believed in."
Her reality is the same for multiple families whose loved ones died in the line of duty while working for Hollywood Police.
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"I look in the audience and I see police officers who retired, police officers who are still here,” said Suellen. "Sometimes they’ll have a sign up saying 'so and so retired this week' and I look for those, because those are the ones who made it through."
However, in the history of the department eight officers did not, including Suellen’s husband. Officer Henry Minard was shot and killed by a man trying to rob a jewelry store in 1972.
“It’s so hard, it never goes away, not all the way,” said Suellen. “I use to think it would, like 'oh when I’m 20 when I’m 30 when I’m 40,' but it’s here, and it’s part of us.”
She also shared advice for those who have loved ones in policing.
“I always tell families, make it easy when they leave,” said Suellen. “Kiss them good bye, hug them goodbye.”
The department was hit hard in 2021, when two more line of duty deaths were added. The first was Det. John Cooke, who died after contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty. Then, in October, Officer Yandy Chirino was shot and killed while in the line of duty.
A third officer, Lt. John Graham, also died in October, by taking his own life.
"It was very hard,” said a Hollywood Police Officer. “It also opened up our eyes a lot, and to the community, the importance of mental health.”
The department said it was also important to honor Graham, because his death highlighted the stresses and tolls of the job.
A memorial dedicated to all line of duty deaths sits outside the Hollywood Police Department for the community to pay tribute.