PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Fifteen law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty were remembered in a law enforcement memorial service Tuesday night in St. Lucie County.
The service happens each year around National Police Week, but the service took a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.
Dozens of community members, law enforcement officers and families of fallen officers filled the pews of St. Bernadette's Catholic Church in Port St. Lucie.
"We want to keep the flame burning and we want them to know we don't want to forget the sacrifices they make," St. Lucie County chaplain David Thompson said.
He has led the service for 17 years and personally knew some of the officers and deputies who died.
Those 15 remembered included the following eight law enforcement officers from the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office:
- Sheriff Daniel Carlton
- Sheriff William R. Monroe
- Deputy Soren Sorensen
- Sgt. Harold Holerger
- Master Deputy Steve Roberts
- Master Deputy Joseph Hover
- Sgt. Gary Morales
- Capt. Charlie Scavuzzo
The following four Fort Pierce police officers were remembered:
- Sgt. Willie B. Ellis
- Capt. Grover Cooper
- Sgt. James Wouters
- Sgt. Danny Parrish
The following two Port St. Lucie police officers were remembered:
- Sgt. Donald Mahan
- Officer Steven Brown
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joseph Bullock was also remembered. While he was killed in Martin County, he long served St. Lucie County.
As a result of Bullock's death, this was the first year the FHP was a part of the St. Lucie County remembrance ceremony.
FHP LT. Nickolas Huckabee read about Bullock during the ceremony.
"It's a great honor, an honor for sure," Huckabee said.
While Bullock's family was unable to attend, he hopes the recognition touches them.
"I just want them to know they're still highway patrol family, we love and honor them, and they're one of us, as far as we're concerned," Huckabee said.
It was also the first year Brown was remembered after passing away in 2019 from a heart attack after a Police Athletic League summer camp.
Thompson said it's hard to watch the list of names grow over the years. But seeing families continue to show up to the service to honor their family members reminds him why they make this an annual tradition.
"I was so surprised to see Sheriff Carlton's family here," Thompson said. "That was over 100 years ago, but members of the family showed up, and that says to me that what we're doing matters."