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In Memoriam

The 2014 Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony was held in Lakeland on May 8, 2014. Law enforcement agencies from across the County came to give honor to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.



On March 7, 2014, a memorial boulder was unveiled in Patterson Park in honor of Officer Johnnie Patterson, who was killed in the line of duty while on foot pursuit after a traffic stop.
Please visit our  Patterson Park Memorial Page  to view the ceremony photos

When I start my tour of duty God,
Wherever crime may be,
as I walk the darkened streets alone,
Let me be close to thee.
Please give me understanding with both the young and old.
Let me listen with attention until their story's told.
Let me never make a judgment in a rash or callous way,
but let me hold my patience let each man have his say.
Lord if some dark and dreary night,
I must give my life,
Lord, with your everlasting love
protect my children and my wife.

On May 8, 2013, Memorial Markers for Officers Gordon Stotz and Johnnie Patterson, Jr. were unveiled at the Police Department. Please visit our Memorial Marker Page to view the ceremony photos.



Johnnie Patterson, Jr. was hired                                                            Gordon Elmer Stotz was hired
as a Police Officer on June 24, 1996.                                                      as a Police Officer on
He was shot and killed while in foot                                                        January 12, 1953. He was
pursuit of a suspect that ran from                                                          killed in an automobile
him after a vehicle traffic stop on                                                           accident on March 28, 1956
March 8, 1997.                                                                                   when his police unit left the
                                                                                                        roadway while in pursuit of
                                                                                                        a speeding vehicle that was
                                                                                                        fleeing to elude apprehension.

Listed below are those members who died while
employed by the Winter Haven Police Department:

Officer Gordon Elmer Stotz

(01/12/53 - 03/28/56)

Officer Joel Wilburn

(09/01/54 - 02/15/72)

Lieutenant John F. Kerr

(06/02/70 - 09/28/77)

Lieutenant Wayne S. Rogers

(09/01/51 - 10/30/77)

Lieutenant James “Schoolboy” Tugerson

(11/01/56 - 04/07/83)

Officer Dale Hofmeister

(03/14/83 - 12/25/83)

Records Clerk Gloria Byrd

(04/04/88 - 04/29/89)

Lieutenant James P. “Tuff” Tofanelli

(03/19/73 - 04/11/96)

Officer Johnnie N. Patterson, Jr.

(06/24/96 - 03/08/97)

Officer Corey Bacon 

(02/02/98 - 03/09/02)

Court Liaison Officer Brenda Barrentine

(10/08/84 - 03/31/02)

Records Clerk Patricia Denham

(01/29/90 - 11/19/04)

Officer Frank Storey

(08/01/94 - 01/17/07)



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