Three local law enforcement agencies honored the men and women who died in the line of duty while protecting the public in services on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.
A memorial service was held in a combined service for the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, Fernandina Beach Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol.
“Every day, public safety officers work tirelessly to protect our citizens, enforce our laws, and keep our neighborhoods safe. We owe a profound debt to all those who have worn the badge, and to the families whose care enables them to serve with courage and pride” said Sheriff Bill Leeper. “When the unthinkable happens and officers give their lives or are seriously injured in the line of duty, we have an obligation to give their loved ones the support they deserve” continued Leeper.
Tuesday’s memorial service was also a reminder to keep safety at the top of their minds at all times.
“It’s also important for officers to know the job is dangerous and we don’t want you to be recognized like this every year,” Leeper said.
The following Fallen Officers were honored:
Nassau County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Joseph W. Robinson (May 16, 1891): Deputy Robinson was the first NCSO Deputy killed in the line of duty. He was fatally shot while apprehending a violent fugitive in the Fernandine Beach area.
Deputy Jasper N. Higginbotham (July 21, 1895): Deputy Higginbotham was shot in the Callahan area while attempting to arrest an individual on a warrant.
Deputy Everett E. Johns (December 6, 1905): Deputy Johns was shot on the south end of Amelia Island attempting to apprehend an individual for an outstanding warant for theft.
Deputy Jeremiah Mattox (March 13, 1954): Deputy Mattox was shot and killed after responding to a domestic dispute in Fernandina Beach.
Chief Bailiff Lewis Hailey (September 15, 1992): Chief Hailey was killed in a automobile crash on State Road 200, between Yulee and Callahan.
Fernandina Beach Police Department
Chief James Surrency (December 8, 1930): Chief Surrency was shot while responding to a murder call in Fernandina Beach.
Florida Highway Patrol
Trooper Charles Parks (February 6, 1973): Trooper Parks was shot during the apprehension of two armed robbery suspects on I-95.
Hilliard Police Constable
Constable Alfred H. Crews (November 1, 1952): Constable Crews was killed in an automobile crash on US-1 north of Hilliard.