The public is invited to remember and honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during a memorial service May 2 at 8 a.m., on the north lawn of the Historic Courthouse, 37918 Meridian Ave., in Dade City.
The memorial recognizes eight offices killed in the line of duty in Pasco County, from 1909 with Deputy Shelly Nicks, to 2011 when Hernando County Sheriff’s Office deputy John Mecklenburg was killed in Pasco while pursuing a suspect on U.S. 41.
Nicks, according to historians, was killed when he stepped in front of a bullet meant for his father, during an arrest attempt in the Fivay area. Despite the offer of a reward of $1,025 — around $25,000 today — the shooter was never apprehended.
“Once a year, we in Pasco have a formal memorial to remember those that gave their ultimate sacrifice,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a release. “We should, however, every day think about those heroes and their families that have sacrificed so much to protect others.”
In previous years, multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have participated in the memorial, including groups like the Dade City Police Department, the Zephyrhills Police Department, the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Officers killed in action, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office website, also include:
• Pasco Sheriff’s Lt. Charles “Bo” Harrison, 56, shot and killed while on surveillance in Lacoochee on June 1, 2003.
• Florida Highway Patrol Trooper James Bradford-Jean Crooks, 23, shot and killed while chasing a suspect who had killed two Tampa police officers on May 19, 1998.
• Pasco Sheriff’s Deputy John Herbert McCabe, 24, in a car accident on U.S. 41 in Land O’ Lakes while responding to a call about stolen grove heaters on June 26, 1948.
• Pasco Sheriff’s Deputy William Henry O’Berry, 36, shot and killed while investigating a felony where a suspect resisted arrest on Jan. 1, 1926.
• Pasco County Constable Arthur Fleece Crenshaw, 31, during an ambush after visiting an illegal alcohol distillery near Dade City on Oct. 4, 1922.
• U.S. Department of Justice Prohibition Agent John Van Waters, 46, during the same ambush with Crenshaw, on Oct. 4, 1922.