JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local Boy Scout is dreaming big. He wants to bring something meaningful, that most other cities have, to Jacksonville.
Seventeen-year-old Adam Resch is hoping to build a police memorial wall honoring the lives and the sacrifice of the 60 officers who have died in the line of duty.
Adam has been working on this project for three years now and is in need of the community's help.
Channel 4 has covered Adam's dream since he got started. He's already gotten approval from the city council who donated 800 square feet in front of the Veterans Memorial Arena for the wall to be built.
He has artist renderings ready to go and ways for you to donate, by buying a personalized brick or sponsor the memorial. Now he just needs the involvement.
Chris Kane, a Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer killed in the line of duty on Sept. 4, 2008; and Scott Bell, a JSO officer killed on the job by a drunken driver the year before on Oct. 12, 2007, are the most recent of 60 JSO officers to have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
In other parts of our state, fallen officers are remembered forever on monuments.
"Most cities in Florida have a public police memorial, Jacksonville being the largest city in America, aerial wise, not having a public police memorial. It's crazy and it's something we absolutely need to honor people who pay the ultimate sacrifice," said Resch.
Resch, a junior at Sandalwood High School, is pursuing his Eagle Rank and has chosen to build a police memorial in downtown Jacksonville, a place where fallen officers' family and friends, past and current officers, and the community can go to reflect, to remember and to thank them -- always.
"The thousands upon thousands of people that will walk by that every year and see the sacrifice that was offered up by officers for this community, I think that's very important," said Sheriff John Rutherford.
Resch's goal is to have the wall built by May and to dedicate it on May 15 when the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office holds its annual police memorial ceremony. It would make the service this year, and every year, that much more meaningful with a place specifically dedicated to honoring our local law enforcement.
"It's important that officers that are being asked to put their lives on the line know that should they be required to offer up that ultimate sacrifice, that this agency and this community will never, never, forget them," said Resch.
On his own, Resch raised $16,000. He's working with a local granite company, and in order to get that ordered and the construction started, he needs $100,000.
You can purchase bricks and personalize them which will surround the wall. For instance, the sheriff said he is buying six, one for each of his grandchildren. Or you can become a sponsor who also gives you your name at the memorial, access to a dedication luncheon and much more. Adam has set up a website, jax4cops.org with all the information.