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Police Memorial Addition Unveiled At Jacksonville Fallen Officer Ceremony

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office honored the 61 local officers who have died in the line of duty since 1840 at a ceremony Thursday.

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Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News
A statue of an officer with a rose kneels in front of the memorial wall.

Twenty-seven of them have died since consolidation in 1968.

The ceremony took place in front of the Fallen Officers Memorial Wall downtown, which is adorned with plaques listing the names of the lost officers.

Those  names were called out one by one. And during the conclusion of the ceremony a new addition to the memorial was unveiled -- three large copper statues of police officers and an interactive kiosk telling the lives of Jacksonville’s officers killed in the line of duty.

Undersheriff Pat Ivey said just earlier in the week members of JSO’s honor guard traveled to Gilchrist County to show support for the families, friends and colleagues of Sargent Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey who were shot and killed on duty last week.

“Today as we remember our 61 fallen officers, I ask that you keep the family and coworkers of these two heroes in your prayers,” Ivey said.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said every day is a gift and that every officer’s biggest enemy is uncertainty.

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Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News
Statues of officers stand on each side of the memorial wall.

“That uncertainty manifested itself again in two line of duty deaths just this week with an officer in Dallas and a corporal in Maine were both shot and killed,” he said. “Last year over the course of one month we had three officers shot, all three seriously wounded but by the grace of God they’re all still here with us today.”

Afterward relatives of those who've lost their lives in the line of duty walked up to see new statues up close, many in tears.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.