Police Unity Tour raises funds for fallen officers memorial

Clay County Detective David White's name to be etched into national memorial wall

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - Every May, the families of law enforcement officers killed in the line duty are invited to the Capitol for a special ceremony.

The annual Police Unity Tour raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum, where the officers are remembered.

Only an active or retired officer or a survivor of an officer killed in the line of duty can take the tour ride.

Clay County Detective David White, who was shot and killed during a meth lab bust in February 2012, will be honored this spring.

"It hits really close to home when you hear of it, so close, and just hearing that he was a family man, it was just really sad to hear that," St. Johns County Deputy Bo Strange said of White's death.

White's name will be etched in the memorial wall next to other officers who died in the line of duty, like St. Johns County Deputy James Anderson. Anderson was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a drunken driver going the wrong-way on then-State Road 9A in 2010.

"When it was time for business, you didn't want anybody else by your side," St. Johns County Deputy Neil Bronner said of Anderson. "He knew his job and he was just a big guy, so you felt safe, just step behind James, you were good."

Names of more than 19,000 officers who have been killed are carved on the memorial's walls.

"It's important because they lost their life protecting someone else, you know, doing what they loved and putting their life in danger for someone else," St. Johns County Deputy Joshua Underwood said.

You can help sponsor the Police Unity Tour by making a donation between $1 and $1,000 at five Hess gas station locations -- Lewis Point, County Road 210, Fruit Cove and two in Green Cove Springs.

"It's a way to show to the wives and husbands and kids that we remember them, we remember the sacrifice that was made for our communities," Strange said.

Bronner has done the ride before.

"These little children looking up to you and holding your hand and you're escorting them to their seats, and if that doesn't make you want to go home and hug your wife and kids, I don't know what does," Bronner said.

The donation opportunity lasts through the whole month of February. The ride will be on May 9.

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