LAKELAND, Fla. - Two more names were added to a monument at Veteran’s Park Thursday during the 33rd annual Polk County Law Enforcement Officers Memorial service.
Both worked at the Lakeland Police Department.
"It is hard enough already to do this job, especially with all the things going on in society, but when you lose two officers in your department, it hits home pretty hard," Assistant Chief Steven Pacheco told FOX 13.
Lakeland officer Ken Foley, 57, died in 2019. He was found unresponsive in his patrol car. It was determined he likely died due to a medical problem.
Only a month and a half later, fellow officer Paul Dunn died, as well.
Dunn was killed in an on-duty crash. He was 50 years old.
Officer Ken Foley (L) and Officer Paul Dunn (R)
Their names were added to a growing list of Polk officers honored during the ceremony, with a gun salute and fly over.
"All officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice should be honored every year," said David Waller, who heads the organization that runs the event, the Polk County Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. "They are honored locally, they are honored in the state, and they are honored in our nation’s capital."
This time, the honors came later than usual. In Polk County, the event was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. It was rescheduled for May, 2021 but was delayed until now because of the delta variant spike.