NewsTreasure CoastRegion St Lucie CountyFort Pierce


Widow of police officer fights for memorial for Sgt. Danny Parrish

Fort Pierce police officer killed in line of duty 30 years ago
Posted at 7:48 AM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 08:13:15-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — This month, Congress approved a measure allowing for the renaming of the Port Salerno post office for Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joseph Bullock, who was killed last year in the line of duty.

That action has sparked family and friends of another local fallen officer to wonder if their loved one will ever get a similar honor.

Mirtha Busbin said a day doesn't go by when she doesn't think of her late husband, Sgt. Danny Parrish.

"Danny was just an all around down to earth guy, liked to hunt and fish, loved his job," Busbin said.

Monday will mark 30 years since Parrish was killed. The Fort Pierce police officer had stopped an 18-year-old driver for going the wrong way down a one-way street.

As the officer attempted to arrest the teen for having no license, there was a struggle.

The teen got hold of the officers weapon and shot him more than a dozen times.

That suspect, Billy Kearse, remains on death row today.

Det. Greg Kirk spent 33 years with the Fort Pierce Police Department and remembers Parrish fondly.

"We worked on honor guard together, and then I was team leader on SWAT and he wanted to be part of SWAT team," Kirk said.

Kirk and Busbin are trying to get some sort of memorial named for Parrish.

Mirtha Busbin
Mirtha Busbin is the widow of Sgt. Danny Parrish. She wants a memorial for her late husband.

"I feel the ball has been dropped, done what I can, met with the mayor and chief of police and very frustrated nothing's been done," Busbin said.

They claim Parrish is the only law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in St. Lucie County without a memorial.

The Fort Pierce Police Department's substation and main building have been renamed for other officers killed in the line of duty.

Underneath an oak tree around the side of the police station, there is a small headstone in the visitor parking lot with Parrish's picture.

But Busbin sids that was due to the generosity of her neighbors, not the department.

She said she's not asking for a lot.

"Recognition where fellow police officers, brothers and sisters can go by, where you can drop a rose in his honor and say, 'This is for Danny,' because he did a lot for this town," Busbin said.

WPTV has not heard back from the department about any potential future honors for Parrish.