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Tampa Bay law enforcement officers honored for service, commitment and paying the ultimate sacrifice

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Posted at 4:33 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 20:41:51-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — It’s been a year of great loss for law enforcement officers here in Tampa Bay, with three officers killed in the line of duty, in months.

“It’s such a great honor and what they’ve done and all that they’ve given for the community in sacrificing their lives,” said Sgt. Kanyon Rodriguez, with the Tampa Police Department Honor Guard.

During National Police Week, Tampa Bay is honoring the lives of fallen officers and showing support for the men and women who protect our communities.

On Tuesday, the Tampa Police Department is remembering its heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice with a memorial ceremony.

Paint the Town Blue is another initiative happening this week and it encourages you to illuminate your home with blue lights, as a way of recognizing sacrifices law enforcement officers make every day.

There's been a total of 12 officers killed in Florida this year — more than double the line of duty deaths during the same period in 2020.

Tuesday, the Attorney General‘s Office announced its new initiative called "Thin Line Tribute," where the AG will be meeting with agencies across the state to thank officers for wearing the badge.

“I’ll stand on the thin line, I'll stand on the line between chaos and peace, I'll stand on the line between violence and safety, I'll stand on the line between the wicked and the innocent,” said Ashley Moody, Attorney General.

Moody kicked off the initiative at the Plant City Police Department.

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“It never ever hits the news about what we do and how we do it and the professionalism that we show. So, for the Attorney General and her Thin Blue Line initiative to recognize all the good works, it bolsters law enforcement to go out and do it again and again and again,” said Plant City Police Chief James Bradford.

Officers say receiving gratitude makes their job that much more rewarding.