Sir Edmund Burke said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Evil exists in our world. There is, perhaps, no one more aware of this fact than the modern police officer. The men and women of the St. Petersburg Police Department confront evil every day. Their weapons: honor, duty, service and sacrifice. Over the course of our history, there have been an honored few that have been called by our Lord to make the ultimate sacrifice. Fifteen men; fifteen brave men; heroes. Men of honor. Men called to duty; to service; to sacrifice. Men who bravely and selflessly answered that call. Men who laid down their lives for their fellow citizens; for their friends. There is no higher calling than this.
Police service today is ever changing; but it is also steeped in traditions. We gather every May at our police memorial to carry on a tradition. We gather to honor those 15 men with the toll of a bell.
We ring the bell here and now, and for years to come. We ring the bell to reflect honor. We ring the bell to pay homage to devotion to duty and service. We ring the bell for the sacrifice made by these men. The bell rings every time the name of a fallen hero is read aloud. Each toll of the bell honors not just the name, but the life cut short in service to each of us. The bell rings 15 times. It is our hope and prayer that the bell will only ever ring for these 15.
These pages are dedicated to the men and women of the St. Petersburg Police Department who gave their lives protecting those they served.
We will remember you -- always.