MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — One year after the death of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joseph Bullock, efforts are still being made to honor and remember him.
Bullock, 42, was shot and killed in the line of duty while helping a disabled motorist on Interstate 95 who did not want to pay a tow bill, according to investigators.
Friday, the Florida Highway Patrol will hold a remembrance ceremony where Trooper Bullock will be honored with an Honorary Road Designation. I-95 between mile markers 105 and 110 in Martin County will be designated as the "Trooper Joseph Bullock Memorial Highway."
Additionally, the ceremony will honor him with the renaming of the FHP station in Fort Pierce as the “Trooper Joseph Bullock Building.”
Since his death, the Port Salerno Post Office also received approval to be named after Bullock.
Tom Berry, Founder of the Blue Alert System, says Bullock was a friend of his.
"He was the nicest guy," Berry said.
Berry remembers hearing about the shooting, and texting Bullock to check on him.
"I texted Joe, are you OK? He didn’t answer, and I figured he may be working the scene," Berry said. Several hours later he learned why Bullock didn’t respond.
He updated his Blue Alert website and Facebook page with the news, as he has for nearly a decade, when there is a line of duty death.
This update was the most personal.
"He is the first one I physically knew. All the other ones were after the fact, I never knew any officer that was killed in the line of duty and or their family," Berry explained.
He said it’s been an emotional year remembering Bullock.
“We call it the year of the first. The first easter without him, the first valentines, the first everything. The first birthday, Fourth of July, BBQ.”
He took it upon himself to raise money to have a memorial chair made, featuring Bullock’s badge and challenge coins, that will be given to the FHP Fort Pierce location where Bullock was based.
Berry is selling bracelets that honor Bullock to raise money at www.bluealert.us
“They’ll be presenting the chair tomorrow. We don’t get to see it until it’s presented to the family,” Berry said.
One year later, Berry is hopeful Bullock’s family feels the impact he still has in the community.
"His life mattered. We appreciate and thank him for his sacrifice for this community," Berry said.