NewsPolk County


Fallen Lakeland PD officer Paul Dunn's memorial vandalized

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 17:45:04-05

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Less than a week after a Lakeland Police Officer’s funeral, his roadside memorial was vandalized.

Paul Dunn, a motorcycle unit officer, died on his way into training on January 9.

'The world is a little sadder without him' | Community says goodbye to Lakeland police officer Paul Dunn

It happened during the early morning hours along Lake Miriam Drive and Lakeland Highlands Road — that’s where the public began a roadside memorial for the officer.

On Tuesday, you couldn’t tell anything had happened as flowers messages of love and the black and blue police police line were nicely placed in the median.

However, days prior was a different story.

Both the Lakeland Police Department, as well as the Polk County Sheriff’s Office sent ABC Action News photos of the vandalism.

Pictures showed the memorial broken and Dunn’s t-shirt spray painted.

“If you’re willing to desecrate someone’s memorial of sorts, even though it’s not a permanent memorial, then it’s really sickening,” Justin Ciproaussen, a nearby resident said.

The Lakeland Police Department sent ABC Action News the following statement:

"We cannot understand why anyone would do this. Officer Dunn spent almost 20 years serving our community after proudly serving our country in the United States Marine Corps. We are thankful for those who set up the memorial in his memory and for the countless others who have shown support here locally and across the country. Our focus remains on supporting his family and fellow officers during this time."

Although it is not illegal to vandalize property left behind in a public space, the public and PCSO would like to know who did it and why.

The sheriff’s office tells ABC Action News a possible update to Dunn’s death investigation is expected next week.