Officials around the Tampa Bay area are releasing statements on the mass shooting that happened in Dallas. The attack left five police officers dead, injured seven more officers and hurt two civilians.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd:
Sarasota County Sheriff Knight:
After the devastating events that occurred in Dallas, Texas overnight, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your service to our community.
After several years of working in law enforcement I never thought we would be up against this type of violence and hate. Unfortunately, these challenges have become our new reality.
Regardless of the evil that exists, remember that we are seen as guardians of this community and pillars of strength in trying times.
Know that the Sarasota County community stands behind you and will continue to look to each of us for strength. Overnight we received a surge of messages from citizens expressing their support and appreciation.
We are not so naïve to think that something like this could never happen here in Sarasota County. For that reason I promise that we will continue to equip each of you with the best training and resources available so that you may return safely to your families each night. Additionally, we will ask our citizens to protect you as you protect them.
Pasco County Sheriff Nocco:
“Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called children of God.”
You hear this at Law enforcement funerals, and sadly it will be spoken 5 more times next week for the slain officers of the Dallas Police Department and DART. We grieve for their loss and honor their heroism. However, their sacrifice and this passage shall embolden our hearts and reinforce that we are Peacemakers. Everyone in this organization shares in the deep responsibility that your profession positively impacts the lives of others. It is our collective responsibility to fight for those in need, to provide safety for those in danger and to bring order where there is chaos.
Although a large percentage of people we encounter on calls for service and the inmates we encounter do not have a fondness for law enforcement, they represent a small fraction of the citizens we serve. We are blessed to live and serve in a community that truly supports law enforcement. Never forget it, because in the ups and downs of our day it is their support and our bond that keeps us strong.
We know tragic incidents like these take a toll and create immense stress on our families. Please encourage them to take advantage of our anonymous EAP program. As much as we may feel anxiety, the level is much greater for our love ones as we walk out the door for work. Please offer them the help they may desire.
Continue to serve with professionalism, discipline, and integrity. Let us pray for the fallen officers and let our service honor their legacy.
Remember we are the Peacemakers.
We Fight As One.
Florida Governor Rick Scott also released a statement:
Today, Governor Rick Scott released the below statement regarding the shooting of 12 law enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas.
Governor Scott said, “This morning, Ann and I are heartbroken to hear of the horrendous tragedy that took place in Texas last night. The violence displayed against Dallas law enforcement was a senseless and cowardly act that has no place in our country. Law enforcement officers across the nation bravely put their lives on the line every day in order to protect our homes, our communities, and our families. We join of all of America in mourning these fallen heroes and praying for the recovery of those injured. Just as Texas stood with Florida following the Orlando terror attack last month, Florida will stand with Texas during this unfathomably difficult time.”
We will add more statements as they come into the newsroom.