Eagle Scout building police memorial

16-year-old seeking donations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office held its annual police memorial service to honor its fallen officers Thursday morning, one local Eagle Scout is finding his own way to honor those officers who have died in the line of duty.

Sixteen-year-old Adam Resch said when he received the new rank of "Life Scout," he had to come up with a project that benefited the community.

"I had to start thinking about what I wanted to do for an Eagle Scout project, and as I looked around the community, I realized that there is no public police memorial that honors the lives of the 60 officers who have died since 1840," Resch said.

Former and current officers, family and friends of fallen officers gathered Thursday to honor those who've died in the line of duty.

"It's a promise to their families that those officers would never be forgotten," Officer Shannon Hartley said.

"We make sure you understand as a recruit is how dangerous this job is, both how wonderful it is getting the opportunity getting to serve, but the dangers are inherent," Sheriff John Rutherford said.

Meanwhile, Resch said this project is really close to his heart because his father is a police officer.

The Jacksonville police union is partnering with the Eagle Scouts to help make Resch's memorial come to life.

The memorial will have a 9-foot-tall granite wall built in a semicircle. There will be a thin blue line on the ground surrounding the memorial, Resch says, represents police officers.

A stone block will be in the center with a prayer engraved. The granite wall will have names of police officers who died in the line of duty.

"I want people to step into the memorial and feel encompassed and feel like you are being protected and safe," Resch said.

He said the memorial will cost about $250,000, and the Eagle Scouts still need the money for the project.

"Hopefully local businesses will be very generous and help out with the cause," Resch said.

The Eagle Scouts have been fundraising for the project and also plan to get more money for the project by selling memorial bricks.

Resch said he plans to build the memorial in front of Veterans Memorial Arena downtown. The Jacksonville City Council has already granted him an area for the structure.

For more information on the project or to give a donation, go to fallenofficersmemorial.webs.com.

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