SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - For two Sarasota police officers, it is a cause so powerful they climbed a mountain to prove it.
Sarasota police detective Steven Fergus and officer Brandon Vermillion traveled above and beyond for those who have paid the ultimate sacrific. They hiked Mount Chimborazo to raise awareness for the “Officer Down Memorial Page.” It's said to be the highest peak near the equator.
The trek took place in Quito, Ecuador. Both recently returned from an incredible trip and joined Good Day Tampa Bay to discuss their initiative.The website is dedicated to law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. As of late March, 27 have died in 2019.
The mission is everything to Fergus and Vermillion. So much so that they set out to climb to the summit of Mt. Chimborazo some 20,549 feet up and hoist the Thin Blue Line Flag in honor of all of those who gave their life so bravely. It's a hobby of theirs and they saw it as an extension of their love and passion for the climb and their brethren.
They battled altitude sickness and unsafe weather conditions in the snow and ice. Ultimately, their tour guide told them they could not continue. They weren't giving up, though. The raised the flag at an impressive 17,052 feet and vowed to come back.
They want to raise $2,500 for ODMP and their Hike the Blue Line cause. They hope other agencies will follow their lead and join in. For more information on the website, head over to the Officer Down Memorial Page.