Officers killed in the line of duty were remembered Sunday in Miami-Dade County as part of a month-long event to honor their sacrifices.
Miami-Dade Police took part in the annual Project HERO (Honoring Every Resting Officer) event Sunday morning at the department’s headquarters in Doral. Officers later placed memorials on the grave markers of fallen officers before a memorial at the Atlantic Ocean.
The Miami Police Department held a similar event Saturday with Sunday's event being part of the national month of remembrance for fallen law enforcement officers.
“It’s a month when we absolutely honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving their communities not only across this country, but here locally,” said MDPD Interim Director George Perez.
Project HERO was initiated 10 years ago by the Police Officer Assistance Trust to recognize the importance of honoring “those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of keeping our communities safe.” An American/Eternal Thin Blue Line flag is placed at each grave.
“Each of these officers make an impact in their community," Perez said. "It could be from a child to an elderly person. Somebody who’s really had an amazing need in a critical moment of trauma.”
A total of 165 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty in Miami-Dade County history through 2021. 43 were from the Miami-Dade Police Department, with the mot recent being Officer Jermaine Brown in December 2018.
Brown, a 15-year veteran, was driving an ATV in southwest Miami-Dade to a call when he struck a tree and later died. Perez and Brown had grown up together.
“It affects our community and it traumatizes our community because it reminds us that there’s light, but there’s also darkness," Perez said. "They count on the Miami-Dade Police Department to bring that light every single day in the most professional way possible.”
Last year, 458 law enforcement officers died with COVID being the leading cause of death.
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