Fallen officer's family helps memorial become reality

- The family of slain Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin gave a heartfelt "thank you" for all the love and support they have been given by the Department and the community.

Crispin was shot at point-blank range four years ago, after he approached a group of teenagers at a park after dark.

His loved ones donated $10,000 to the proposed Fallen Heroes Memorial is slated to be built in front of LPD.

"This memorial serves as a reminder peace is not free," said Crispin's brother, Frankie. "It comes at a price, and sadly, it sometimes comes at a price of the life of these officers who put on their uniform everyday."

A statue of an officer will be at the center of the memorial. He will be flanked by plaques with the names of officers who have died in the line of duty.

It has not been easy raising money. LPD said it collected $50,000 in the last few months. The cost of the project is around $300,000.

The Crispin's gift is a real Godsend, according to Lt. Steve Pacheco.

"For them to give us this money is very humbling," said Pacheco, chairman of the LPD Foundation. "Our hope is that it will jump-start other entities, corporations and people to get involved."

Supporters of the project hope to break ground this summer.  

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