January 10, Lake Wales – The Florida Highway Patrol participated in a national effort sponsored by COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) to help recognize law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, and support their family members left behind. Law enforcement officers representing federal, state, and local government from coast to coast coordinated a skydiving event at the Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales to memorialize fallen comrades. Working in conjunction with Betty Hill, Lake Wales Airport Manager, and Suzie Sawyer, Executive Director of COPS, Officer Greg Knott of the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department spent two years organizing this memorial event, which included static displays from the Florida Highway Patrol. During the event, a twenty-four-way missing man formation was flown using officers with 300+ hours of skydiving experience. The event raised enough money to fund a donation of $25,000 for Charles Shinholser, whose son, Charlie, a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputy, lost his life in the line of duty in 1988. FHP was proud to participate in the 25th anniversary of such an important fundraising event.
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See also: www.ODMP.org and www.JumpForCOPS.com