The 26th Annual Police Memorial Service was held on May 5, 2008, in Tallahassee at the State Capitol. Law enforcement officers from all across the state gathered to honor the memory of 16 of their fellow officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The solemn ceremony on the steps of the Old Capitol followed a parade through downtown Tallahassee. The Florida Highway Patrol's Troop H Honor Guard along with their counterparts from numerous other state, county, and city law enforcement agencies around Florida participated in the memorial march as did several bag pipe corps. After the names of each fallen officer were announced, hundreds of law enforcement officers stood at attention for the playing of taps. The parade and the memorial service were organized by the state lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Governor Charlie Crist, Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Attorney General Bill McCollum, HSMV Executive Director Electra Bustle, FHP's Colonel John Czernis and various other dignitaries and commanders from state, county, and local law enforcement agencies were present. The service included the releasing of butterflies, and a 21 gun salute.
The alarming spike in law enforcement deaths in 2007 prompted Governor Crist to issue an executive order that will call on the public to help locate suspects when a law enforcement officer is wounded or killed It will work similar to "AMBER" alerts and the names and descriptions of suspects will be posted on highway message signs and through a communication network coordinated by the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and other state and local agencies.
FHP Observes Peace Officer Memorial Day